Volleyball drops a pair at UAA Championships

Si-Si Hensley '14

 Despite early leads in both contests, the Brandeis women's volleyball team was unable to pull off a pair of upsets at the 2013 UAA Volleyball Championships, which are being held at Gosman this weekend. The Judges fell 3-1 to Washington University in St. Louis and 3-0 to Case Western Reserve University. Brandeis is now 10-24 on the season, 1-8 in UAA play. They take on the University of Rochester in the seventh place match tomorrow at 10 a.m.

The Judges, seeded seventh in the conference, came out swinging against the WashU Bears, the second seed in the tournament and the No. 8 team in the country. Brandeis led for much of the first set, pushing the lead as high as four. But at 19-18, the Bears went on a 7-3 run, using three kills from sophomore Allison Zastrow (Lincoln, Neb./Pius X) to win 25-22.

The Judges battled back in the second set, turning the table on the Bears. This time it was Brandeis that trailed 19-18, but the Judges used kills by senior Si-Si Hensley (Fullerton, Calif./Troy) and junior Liz Hood (Albuquerque, N.M./Albuquerque Acad.), as well as four consecutive serves by junior libero Elsie Bernaiche (Plantsville, Conn./Southington) to go on a 7-3 run of their own, winning 25-22.

From there, WashU found the form that had seen the Bears start the season 25-5, as they won sets three and four by scores of 25-16 and 25-13, respectively.

The Judges were led by Hensley and Hood, who combined for 16 kills and 31 digs. Bernaiche had 30 digs and three service aces, while sophomore setter Maggie Swenson (East Lyme, Conn./East Lyme) had 20 assists and three aces of her own. Sophomore Summer Koop (Long Valley, N.J./West Morris Central) had a match-high two solo blocks.

WashU rookies Caroline Dupont (Leawood, Kan./Blue Valley North) and Alex Sheredy (San Jose, Calif./Presentation) tied for the match-high in kills with 12. Rookie libero Kalehua Katagiri (Kane'ohe, Hawaii/Kamehameha-Kaplama) had 39 digs, while sophomore Cassie Wang (Austin, Texas/Lake Travis) had 37 assists.

WashU will face Carnegie Mellon in the third place match tomorrow.

Trailing 12-11 in the first set against Case, the Judges used a pair of service aces from both Swenson and Hood to reel off an 8-2 run and pull in front, 19-14. However, a pair of kills by sophomore Carolyn Bogart (New Berlin, W.I./New Berlin Eisenhower) and several Brandeis errors allowed Case back into the game, and the Spartans rallied for a 25-23 win.

Case used 13 Brandeis attack errors to comfortably win set two, and raced out to leads of 14-7 and 19-13 in set three. However, the Judges responded each time with runs of their own, pulling within one at 19-18. But Case would regroup after a timeout, winning four of the next five points en route to a 25-22 victory.

Hensley tied for match-high honors with nine kills, while Hood chipped in with eight. Swenson had 27 assists, while Bernaiche had 15 digs.

Case rookie Marian Barton (Custer Park, Ill./Reed-Custer) had nine kills and zero errors in just 16 attempts for a .562 hitting percentage. Bogart had eight kills, while rookie Kristen Mitchell (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny) and sophomore Katie Best (Sweickley, Pa./North Allegheny) each had 18 digs. The Spartans are coached by Karen (Chambers) Farrell, '93.

Case takes on NYU in the fifth place contest tomorrow at 10 a.m.