WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis volleyball team dropped the opener of the 2010 Judges Classic, 3-1, to UMass Boston tonight in Auerbach Arena. Set scores were 25-15, 22-25, 26-24, 25-19. The loss drops the Judges to 13-15 on the season, while the Beacons, who sit just outside of the AVCA Division III Top 25, improve to 24-2.
Brandeis came out sluggish in the first set, falling behind 5-1 early, and were unable to recover as they fell, 25-15. The second set was a dramatic affair, as the Judges raced out to a 5-1 lead, but the Beacons rallied to tie it at 9-9. Neither team was able to reestablish any momentum, as the lead was never greater than two points until the end of the set. Trailing 19-17, the Judges scored five in a row, four of which came on UMB errors, to go ahead, 21-19. The Beacons evened the score again at 21-21, but kills by sophomore opposite Lauren Berens (Boulder, Colo./Fairview) and senior setter Abby Blasco (Greeley, Colo./Frontier Academy) keyed a 4-1 run to take the set and even the match at one set apiece.
The third set was an equally back-and-forth affair. Neither team was able to establish a rhythm, and Umass Boston took a 21-20 lead after a timeout on a kill by sophomore outside hitter Shannon Thompson (Moorpark, Calif./Moorpark). Brandeis senior Paige Blasco (Greeley, Colo./Frontier Acad.) put the Judges on her back for a stretch, getting kills on three straight points and forcing the Beacons to take a timeout trailing, 23-21. UMB responded to coach Terry Condon in the break, going on to score five of the last six points of the set. Rookie outside hitter Corrine Porter (Landera Ranch, Calif./Tesoro) and sophomore middle hitter Alexa Sullivan (South Dennis, Mass./Dennis-Yarmouth Regional) had kills in the stretch and combined to block the winning point. After Brandeis got off to a 7-2 lead in the fourth set, UMass battled back to take their first lead at 18-17 and went on to close out the match on an 8-2 run.
Brandeis was paced by Paige Blasco, who had 17 kills for the Judges with just four errors in 44 attempts for a .295 hitting percentage. Abby Blasco finished with 31 assists and 11 digs, tied with sophomore libero Susan Sun (Acton, Mass./Acton-Boxborough Regional) for team-high. Senior Nicole Smith (Marietta, Ga./Alan C. Pope) and sophomore Becca Fischer (San Antonio, Texas/Clark) tied for team-high honors at the net with four blocks each. Fischer had three solo blocks, Smith had one.
NCAA DIVISION III VOLLEYBALL
Judges Classic at Waltham, Mass. (Brandeis University)
UMass Boston 3, Brandeis 1 (25-15, 22-25, 26-24, 19-25)
Tufts 3, Clarkson 1 (2515, 25-22, 23-25, 25-21)
DAY 2 Schedule
Brandeis vs. Tufts
UMass Boston vs. Clarkson
Brandeis vs. Clarkson
Tufts vs. UMass Boston