Volleyball rallies from two sets down to defeat Wheaton, 3-2

Liz Hood '15 and Summer Koop '16 (photo by Sportspix.biz)
Liz Hood '15 and Summer Koop '16 (photo by Sportspix.biz)

WALTHAM, Mass. — The Brandeis University volleyball team rallied past visiting Wheaton College tonight, overcoming a 2-0 deficit to defeat the Lyons, 3-2, in a non-conference match in Red Auerbach Arena. After the Lyons won the first two, 25-19, 25-20, the Judges stormed back 25-22, 25-15, 15-11. Brandeis improves to 3-7 on the season, while Wheaton falls to 4-7.

In addition to coming from behind in the match, Brandeis also rallied in each of the three sets they won. In the third, they trailed 22-20 before winning the final five points. In the fourth, it was an early 9-5 hole that the Judges climbed out of emphatically, outscoring the visitors 20-6 the rest of the way. Senior middle blocker Carly Gutner-Davis (Del Mar, Calif./Canyon Crest Acad.) and junior setter Maggie Swenson (East Lyme, Conn./East Lyme) combined to serve 13 of those final 20 points for the Judges.

In the deciding set, Wheaton hopped out to a quick 5-2 lead, and the Lyons were ahead, 8-7, at the changeover. The home team responded by claiming eight of the final 11 points. Senior outside hitter Liz Hood (Albuquerque, N.M./Albuquerque Acad.) tallying two kills in the decisive run, and junior middle blocker Summer Koop (Long Valley, N.J./West Morris Central) had a kill and a block assist on match point, along with rookie outside hitter Jessie Moore.

Brandeis had a number of outstanding individual performances. Rookie setter Julie Kim (Fullerton, Calif./Troy) recorded her second collegiate double-double with 44 assists and a match- and career-best 16 digs. Her assist total was four short of a career-high. Offensively, Hood led the way with 15 kills. Moore was right behind with 14 kills, while also adding four service aces and three blocks, all career-highs. Koop had 10 kills and just two errors in 18 chances for a .444 hitting percentage, while also contributing four blocks. Senior libero Elsie Bernaiche (Plantsville, Conn./Southington) was right behind Kim defensively with 15 digs.

The loss by Wheaton overshadowed a fine individual performance from junior outside hitter/setter Deirdre Wilson (Aptos, Calif./Aptos), who registered a triple-double. She had a match-high 19 kills and just four errors in 35 attempts for a .429 hitting percentage. She also added 16 assists and 11 digs, both second-best on the Lyons. Sophomore setter Caitlin Hellenbrand (Corona, Calif./Santiago) had 20 assists and four service aces for the visitors, while rookie libero Jodi Katz (Needham, Mass./Needham) had 14 digs. Junior Kendall Jacobs (San Diego, Calif./Scripps Ranch) led all players with five blocks (one solo).

Brandeis returns to action on Thursday evening when they take on Emerson College at 7 p.m. Wheaton opened NEWMAC play on Sept. 20 against WPI at 11 a.m.