WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis volleyball team roared past the visiting Emerson College tonight, defeating the Lions, 3-0, in just over an hour, 25-12, 25-14, 25-7.
Brandeis (11-7) opened the match quickly, taking a 6-1 lead early in the first set on a service ace by rookie outside hitter Si-Si Hensley (Fullerton, Calif./Troy). A kill by senior outside hitter Paige Blasco (Greeley, Colo./Frontier Acad.), pushed the lead to 8-2, and the Judges maintained that cushion at 12-6. Emerson scored three of the next four points, primed by a kill from junior outside hitter Megan Kaplon (Yellow Springs, Ohio/Yellow Springs) and a service ace from junior setter Katie Bailey (Calabasas, Calif./Louisville). A Brandeis blocking error helped Emerson get within four at 13-9, but the Judges answered with six straight points – all on Hensley's serve – and nine of the next 10, to take a commanding 22-10 lead, finishing the set at 25-12.
The second set went in a similar fashion, with Brandeis taking an 8-3 lead early, opening up the gap with four straight points on the serve of sophomore opposite Lauren Berens (Boulder, Colo./Fairview). Another six-point run off the hand of rookie defensive specialist Yael Einhorn (Cherry Hill, N.J./Cherry Hill East) made the edge 20-7. Sophomore outside hitter Kelsey Scanlon (Sonoma, Calif./Justin-Siena) had a three-point surge, but it wasn't enough as the Judges took a 25-14.
The final set was all but over early. Einhorn served the first 10 points and Hensley adding four more in a row thanks to senior middle blocker Nicole Smith (Marietta, Ga./Alan C. Pope) registering five kills and a block assist in that span. The Judges cruised to the 25-7 win, their largest set margin of victory this season.
Brandeis was led offensively by Smith and Paige Blasco, who each had 11 kills. Smith added three block assists to finish with 14 points, and hit for a .588 percentage (11 K-1 E-17 TA), while Blasco's 12 digs tied for team high and gave her her ninth double-double of the season and third in a row. Einhorn matched Blasco with 12 digs, while senior setter Abby Blasco (Greeley, Colo./Frontier Acad.) had 29 assists.
The Judges return to action on Saturday, when they travel to Keene, N.H., to take on Keene State and Colby-Sawyer in a tri-match.