ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- The Brandeis volleyball team posted a 1-2 record this weekend at the first University Athletic Association round robin of the season at the University of Rochester. The Judges opened their conference slate with a 3-0 loss to fifth-ranked Washington University on Saturday night. On Sunday morning, they fell to Case Western Reserve, 3-1, before ending the weekend with a 3-0 win over host Rochester. The Judges now stand at 11-7, 1-2 in the UAA
The Brandeis volleyball team dropped its 2009 UAA opener by falling to fifth-ranked Washington University in straight sets. The Judges pushed the Bears in the first set, 25-23, before falling in the last two sets, 25-11 and 25-19. Against the Bears, Brandeis was paced by junior setter Abby Blasco (Greeley, Colo./Frontier Acad.), who just missed her ninth double-double of the season with 23 assists and a team-high nine digs. More than a third of her assists went to twin sister Paige, who led the squad with eight kills. Paige also contributed four digs and a block. Junior middle blocker Nicole Smith (Marietta, Ga./Alan C. Pope) added seven kills and three blocks.
Taking on Case Western Reserve, coached by Karen Chambers Farrell '93, the Judges dropped the first set, 25-23, for the second match in a row. They bounced back to win set two, 25-18, but the Spartans rallied to take the last two sets, 25-18, 25-21. With Paige Blasco struggling from the outside, senior right-side Piera Carfagno (Los Angeles, Calif./Campbell Hall School) stepped up with a season-high 18 kills and a .368 hitting percentage (18 kills, 4 errors, 38 attempts). Smith recorded 11 kills and four blocks (one solo). Paige Blasco led the team with 17 digs, while Abby had 38 assists, nine digs, six kills and three block assists.
The Judges rallied in their final match of the tournament to defeat host Rochester in straight sets, 25-16, 25-22, 25-15. They used a balanced attack to top the Yellowjackets, as Paige Blasco, Carfagno and Smith all had six kills each. The Judges also had a strong game at the net, matching a season-high with 12 kills. Smith and rookie Becca Fischer (San Antonio, Texas/Clark) registered six blocks each, with Fischer totaling two solo blocks and Smith one. Abby Blasco had 24 assists, while senior Bridget McAllister (Santa Clara, Calif./Presentation) led the defensive effort with 10 digs.
Brandeis is next in action on on Oct. 10 when they host Coast Guard and Keene State in a tri-match.