WALTHAM, Mass.- The top-seeded Brandeis Women's Volleyball team cruised to a 3-0 sweep of the eighth-seeded Albertus Magnus Falcons in their Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) quarterfinals match thanks to a stellar offensive night led by sophomore outside hitter Liz Hood (Albuquerque, N.M./ Albuquerque Acad.).Brandeis won 25-9, 25-13, 25-12 and improves to 20-13. The Judges advance to the semifinals while the Falcons fall to 12-13.
Brandeis dominated the match from the outset. In the first set, the Judges raced out to a 10-1 advantage and never relinquished their lead en route to a 25-9 win. Six different Brandeis players recorded at least two kills as junior setter Yael Einhorn (Cherry Hill, N.J./ Cherry Hill East) had 12 assists in the set and led the offense to a .682 hitting percentage with 16 kills and just one error.
In the second set, Albertus Magnus looked to bounce back as they jumped out to an 8-2 lead featuring three kills from rookie middle blocker Kelsey Pendagast (Shelton, Conn./ Shelton). However, Brandeis fought back and evened the score at 10-10. Then, sophomore middle blocker Carly Gutner-Davis (Del Mar, Calif./ Canyon Crest Acad.) took over, serving 10 consecutive points where she racked up four service aces and a kill to open up a 20-10 lead. The Judges closed the set out for a 25-13 win by recording 12 kills to one error.
In the third set, a see-saw battle found the two sides knotted up 10-10 once more but this time senior middle blocker Becca Fisher (San Antonio, Texas/ Clark) came to the rescue. Fisher served seven consecutive points with Hood recording three kills in that span to open up an 18-10 advantage that Brandeis would not relinquish. The Judges closed the set on a 15-2 run and won 25-12 when Hood ended the match on a service ace for the sweep.
For the match, Brandeis racked up a season-high .487 attacking percentage thanks to 36 assists from Einhorn. Hood led the squad with 16 kills and earned her own season-high with a .652 attacking percentage. Meanwhile, senior middle blocker Lauren Berens (Boulder, Colo./ Fairview) and rookie middle blocker Maddie Engeler (Sandusky, Ohio/ St. Mary Central Catholic) combined for 10 kills with another excellent .667 attacking percentage for each player. Finally, junior outside hitter Si-Si Hensley (Fullerton, Calif./ Troy) led the squad with 10 digs while senior defensive specialist Susan Sun (Acton, Mass./ Acton-Boxborough) recorded six.
For the Falcons, junior outside hitter Melissa Manning (Milford, Conn./ Foran) led the team with six kills while senior setter Maritza Rosemond (New Haven, Conn./ Career) orchestrated the attack with nine assists. Albertus Magnus had a four-way tie for the team lead in digs with junior defensive specialist Nicole Acerra (East Haven, Conn./ East Haven), rookie defensive specialist Alyssa Puccilli (Derby, Conn./ Foran), Manning, and Rosemond all recording five.
The Judges move on to face fifth-seeded Salve Regina in the semifinals on Saturday November 10th at 10:00 a.m. at Red Auerbach Arena.