Volleyball goes 2-0 on second day of Brandeis Invitational

Liz Hood '15 (Image courtesy Sportspix)
Liz Hood '15 (Image courtesy Sportspix)

WALTHAM, Mass.- In the second day of play at the Brandeis Invitational, the Brandeis Women's volleyball team (6-2) defeated the McDaniel Green Terror and Rhode Island College Anchorwomen (RIC). In their first match against the Green Terror, the squads went the distance in a thrilling match but Brandeis pulled away in the 5th set thanks to an early 6-0 run backed by junior Si-Si Hensley (Fullerton, Calif./ Troy) and capped off by kills from sophomore Liz Hood (Albuquerque, N.M./ Albuquerque, N.M./ Acad.) and senior Becca Fisher (San Antonio, Texas/ Clark). In their second game, the Judges took the first two sets before dropping the third and then needed an incredible comeback in the 4th set led by sophomore libero Elsie Bernaiche (Plantsville, Conn./ Southington) to pull out the win. 


In their first match against McDaniel, Brandeis got off to a slow start. While they had more kills then the Green Terror (13-12) in the first set, they also committed seven more errors and struggled to find a rhythm, losing 23-25. In the second set, the Judges rebounded behind Hood who compiled four of the team's seven kills in that set and Bernaiche who helped Brandeis pull away in a 17-17 match by reeling off six straight points as they won the set 25-20. Unfortunately in the 3rd set, the Judges problem with errors returned as they committed seven to McDaniel's three and fell 25-18. Still, facing a 2-1 deficit, Brandeis showed their resilience. In the 4th set, the Judges rebounded with an incredible ratio of 16 kills to just two errors as Hood racked up another eight kills and Brandeis won the set 25-21 to send it to the pivotal 5th set. In that set, everyone contributed as five different Judges registered a kill including three from Fisher and two from rookie Maddie Engeler (Sandusky, Ohio/ St. Mary Central Catholic) to give Brandeis a 15-9 win in the set and 3-2 win for the game.


In the Judges' final match of the Brandeis Invitational they faced off against RIC. Brandeis did not get off to the same slow start in their earlier match, taking the first two sets by scores of 25-19 and 25-17. They were excellent on the attack with 11 kills to just two errors in the first set and 17 kills to three errors in the second set. Still, in a back and forth set where no team led by more than four points, the Anchorwomen fought hard and won the set 25-22 behind seven kills from senior Breanna Boyer (West Greenwich, R.I./ La Salle). RIC looked to build off their momentum from the previous set, jumping out to an 18-10 lead with no signs of slowing down. After a four point run by the Judges to close the lead to 18-14, the Anchorwomen seemed to put the set out of reach with a kill from junior Amanda Cabral (Riverside, R.I./ East Providence) and a service ace by rookie Jasmyn Starr (Gilford, N.H./ Gilford). However Brandeis proved resilient once more with Bernaiche taking over service at 20-15. Behind three aces, a kill from Hensley, and four errors by RIC the Judges rattled off nine straight points to get to match point. After Boyer finally ended the run with a kill, Fisher finished off the Anchorwomen with a powerful kill down the middle of the court to give Brandeis a 25-21 win in the set and a three sets to one victory.


Against the Green Terror, Hood led the team with 20 kills while senior Lauren Berens (Boulder, Colo./ Fairview) was the other Brandeis player to reach double digit kills with 10. Junior Yael Einhorn (Cherry Hill, N.J./ Cherry Hill East) registered 46 of the team's 51 assists while four Judges reached double digits digs. Bernaiche led the team with 16 digs while senior Susan Sun (Acton, Mass./ Acton-Boxborough) had 14 and Hensley and rookie Amaris Brown (Brooklyn, N.Y./ Brooklyn Friends School) each had 11. Engeler led Brandeis with four block assists. Two players on McDaniel reached double digit kills. Senior Annie McShea (Frederick, Md./ Gov. Thomas Johnson) lead the squad with 19 kills and junior Melissa Weldon (Broomall, Pa./ CDS of the Sacred Heart) had 12. Rookie Colette Kellen (Derwood, Md./ Covenant Life School) registered 36 of the team's 46 assists while five players reached double digit digs. Rookie Kloe Martin (Littleton, Colo./ Heritage) led the Green Terror with 16 digs while Weldon and rookie Olivia Kunc (Chesterbrook, Pa./ Conestoga) each had 15, McShea came up with 13, and Kellen had 11. McShea and sophomore Hannah Krobock (Frederick, Md./ Tuscarora) led the team with three block assists each.


In their game against the Anchorwomen, Hood led the squad again with 16 kills while Hensley and Engeler joined her in double digits with 13 apiece. Einhorn registered a team high 45 assists while Bernaiche led the Judges with 17 digs and Sun registered 11. Finally, Fisher led the squad with four block assists. For RIC Boyer had a game high 20 kills and Cabral registered 13. Senior Jessica Ho (Providence, R.I./ Classical) led the Anchorwomen with 44 of their 49 assists and rookie Lauren Palazzini (Woonsocket, R.I./ Mt. St. Charles) had a team high 15 digs while Starr and Ho each had nine.


Brandeis continues their season on September 12th at 7:00 p.m. at Endicott College. McDaniel goes to Catholic on September 12th at 7:00 p.m.