CHICAGO, Ill. -- In the first University Athletic Association (UAA) round robin of 2012, the Brandeis volleyball team suffered three straight losses at the University of Chicago. The Judges fell to Case Western Reserve and top-ranked Washington University, 3-0, on the first day of action. They won the first set of the day on Day 2, but ultimately fell to Rochester, 3-1. The Judges are now 11-7 overall.
In their UAA opener, Brandeis faced the Case Western Reserve Spartans and head coach Karen Chambers Farrell '93. The Judges kept all three sets close, but ultimately fell, 25-18, 25-19, 25-20. Brandeis middle blockers Lauren Berens (Boulder, Colo./Fairview) and Maddie Engeler (Sandusky, Ohio/St. Mary Central Catholic) were efficient in attacking, with 10 kills and just two errors in 27 attempts between them. The Spartans were able to neutralize the Judges' leading scorer, sophomore outside hitter Liz Hood (Albquerque, N.M./Albuquerque Academy), who had eight kills and seven errors in 33 attacks. Sophomore setter Elsie Bernaiche (Plantsville, Conn./Southington) led all players with 14 digs, but it was Case's Natalie Southard who had a match-high 12 kills and a .429 hitting percentage.
Against WashU, the Bears showed why they are the top-ranked team in the nation, outscoring the Judges 25-10, 25-8, 25-20. Hood had seven kills to lead the Judges again, but four different Washington players matched that figure, led by Emily Tulloch's 11 kills and .476 percentage. Defensively, Bernaiche had 14 digs for the second-straight match, while senior middle blocker Becca Fischer (San Antonio, Texas/Clark) had five blocks (two solo), one shy of her season-high.
The Judges rallied to take the opening set against Rochester, 25-22, but the Yellowjackets stole momentum in a marathon second set with a 28-26 victory. UR went on to take the fourth set, 25-16 and closed out the match, 25-22. Hood had her best match of the weekend with 15 kills and seven errors on 33 attempts for a .242 hitting percentage. Junior OH Si-Si Hensley (Fullerton, Calif./Troy) just missed joining Hood in double figures with nine kills. She also had 12 digs to fall just short of her eighth double-double of the season. Junior setter Yael Einhorn (Cherry Hill, N.J./Cherry Hill East) also had her top performance with 29 assists. Kelly Mulrey led three 'Jackets in double figures with 18 kills.
Brandeis returns to action with a Thursday night non-confernce match at Wheaton College at 7 p.m.