WALTHAM, Mass. - The Brandeis University volleyball team cruised to victory in their season opener today, defeating visiting Wentworth Institute of Technology in three straight sets, 25-14, 25-11, 25-16, in Red Auerbach Arena.
Brandeis (1-0) and Wentworth (0-1) played close early in the first set as both teams came out early season jitters, but four straight points from the Judges turned an 8-6 lead into a 12-6 margin and the hosts were not threatened again.
Brandeis was paced by senior All-American outside hitter Lorraine Wingenbach (Buffalo, N.Y.), who had 10 kills in 19 attempts for a .263 hitting percentage. Sophomore middle blocker Nikki Smith (Marietta, Ga.) added nine kills and just one error in 15 attempts for a .533 percentage. Smith also led the team with four blocks (one solo). Sophomore Paige Blasco (Greely, Colo.) had eight kills and a team-high nine digs in her college debut after missing her rookie season due to injury. Twin sister Abby Blasco (Greely, Colo.) had 27 assists, seven digs and five service aces.
The Leopards were led by five kills from junior outside hitter Danielle Banks (Ellicott City, Md.), while senior libero Jenn Kelemen (Newburgh, N.Y.) and rookie middle hitter Julie Bruton (Montgomery, Texas) had eight digs apiece. Bruton also had two solo blocks for Wentworth.