WALTHAM, Mass. - The second-seeded Brandeis University volleyball team, playing without one of its All-UAA players and with another out of position because of injury, nearly rallied from two sets down in the ECAC Division III New England Volleyball championships, but the Judges could not complete the comeback as they fell to seventh-seeded Colby-Sawyer College, 3-2, in Red Auerbach Arena.
Colby-Sawyer (20-13) won the first two sets of the match, 25-15, 25-16, but Brandeis (18-17) rallied to take the next two, 25-14, 25-16. In the deciding set, the Chargers raced out to a 5-2 lead, but Brandeis led, 8-7, when the teams switched sides. The pause gave the underdogs the push they needed, as CSC scored eight of the final 10 points of the match to earn the upset.
Brandeis was without second-team All-UAA outside hitter Paige Blasco (Greeley, Colo./Frontier Acad.), who was out with a sore knee, from the start. After the first set, twin sister Abby, an honorable mention All-UAA selection, was unable to serve as setter, forcing senior Piera Carfagno (Los Angeles, Calif./Campbell Hall School) into that role. After developing their rhythm, the Judges were able to mount their comeback, but the experience Chargers were able to pull away.
Carfagno finished the match with a career-high 34 assists, while senior Bridget McAllister (Santa Clara, Calif./Presentation) stepped up with a season-highs of 14 kills and 17 digs. Rookie outside hitter Lauren Berens (Boulder, Colo./Fairview) also stepped up in just her 14th career match, notching a career-best 13 kills. Classmate Becca Fischer (San Antonio, Texas/Clark) had a team-high five blocks.
(Complete stats available Thursday morning)