Volleyball suffers 3-1 loss to Wellesley in battle of unbeatens

WALTHAM, Mass. - The Brandeis University volleyball team (3-1) suffered its first loss of the season as their six-match winning streak dating to last November was snapped by the visiting Wellesley College Blue (4-0) in a battle of unbeaten teams in Red Auerbach Arena tonight. Set scores were 25-20, 25-14, 24-26, 25-22.

      Wellesley established an early lead in the match, jumping out to an 8-2 lead in the first set. Brandeis clawed back within two points at 14-16 and again at 18-20, the last coming on a kill by Brandeis junior right-side Piera Carfagno (Los Angeles, Calif.) but back-to-back kills by Wellesley senior Jessica Duff (Milton, England) and sophomore Madeleine Brumley (Lafayette, La.) pushed the lead back to four, 22-18, and the Blue went on to the 25-20 win.

      The Blue led throughout the second set as well . Duff keyed a six-point, hitting the kill that got the side-out and going on to serve three aces as an 8-7 lead into a turned 14-7 advantage. The visitors held on for the 25-14 win.

      Brandeis responded in the third set. The Judges never trailed, taking a 10-5 lead on a Wellesley error. Three kills in a six-point span by senior All-American Lorraine Wingenbach (Buffalo, N.Y.) put Brandeis up, 18-12. The hosts eventually took a 23-14 lead on a kill by sophomore Nicole Smith (Marietta, Ga.), but the Blue battled back on the serve of Duff, scoring seven straight points to knot the game at 24-24. Brandeis responded with a Smith kill and a service ace by sophomore Paige Blasco (Greely, Colo.) to earn the 26-24 win.

      In the fourth set, Wellesley jumped out to a 5-1 lead, but Brandeis answered with a tough blocking game, tying the game at 6-6 on a rejection by Smith and Wingenbach. Neither team was able to gain any momentum over the middle of the set until the Blue, trailing, 16-15, ran off four points in a row. The visitors tied the game on a Brandeis service error, and took a 19-16 lead on the strength of a kills from Brumley an ace by Duff and a kill by junior Alice Cummings (Tallahassee, Fla.). Brandeis closed within one point at 21-22, but the Blue took advantage of Brandeis errors to score four of their last five points.

      Brandeis was led by Paige Blasco and her sister, sophomore setter Abby, who both recorded double-doubles. Paige had 12 kills and 10 digs, while Abby registered 33 assists and 18 digs. Wingenbach tied for team-high honors with 18 digs, while Smith reached double figures with 10 kills and added seven blocks (two solo).

      Wellesley got a match-high 16 kills from Cummings and 13 from sophomore Samantha Du (Houston, Texas). Senior libero Emily Peters (Temescal Valley, Calif.) had 21 digs, while Duff had five service aces.

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