Hood, Berens lead volleyball past Emerson in three

Liz Hood '15 (photo by Sportspix.biz)
Liz Hood '15 (photo by Sportspix.biz)
WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University volleyball team put two players in double figures in kills tonight as the Judges swept the visiting Emerson College Lions, 3-0, in Auerbach Arena. Set scores were 25-17, 25-18, 25-23. The Judges, ranked 12th in New England, improve to 13-7 on the season, while the Lions fall to 12-8.

Brandeis was led by sophomore outside hitter Liz Hood (Albuquerque, N.M./Albuquerque Acad.), who had  match-high 13 kills in 34 attempts, while senior middle blocker Lauren Berens (Boulder, Colo./Fairview) had 10 kills and just two errors in 18 attempts for a fine .444 hitting percentage. Berens also contributed two service aces. Junior setter Yael Einhorn (Cherry Hill, N.J./Cherry Hill East) finished with 32 assists and three service aces. Defensively, junior libero Elsie Bernaiche (Plantsville, Conn./Southington) had 17 digs and senior outside hitter Susan Sun (Acton, Mass./Acton-Boxborough) added 14.

Emerson was paced by junior outside hitter Alyssa Thorne (Pittsburgh, Pa./Baldwin), who had nine kills, while rookie outside hitter Kat Westbrook (Mount Pleasant, S.C./Bishop England) had eight. Junior libero Jamie Morgan (Maple Glen, Pa./Gwynedd Mercy) led all players with 18 digs, while Westbrook had 12. Rookie setter Juliana Tucker (Encino, Calif./Campbell Hall) finished with 28 assists for the Lions.

Brandeis took control of the match early, winning eight of the first nine points of the first set, including six in a row on the serve of Einhorn, en route to the 25-17 win. Emerson led, 7-4, early in the second set, when Berens rattled off six straight service points. Four different Brandeis players had kills in the key run, with Berens, who got a sideout to start the string as the only player with more than one.

In the third set, Brandeis opened up a number of three-point leads, the latest coming at 21-18 after another Berens kill. Emerson responded with the next three points, two from Westbrook, to tie the set at 21-21. A pair of errors by the Lions reestablished a 23-21 lead for the hosts, but the Judges gave the points right back, tying it back up at 23. Hood went on to record kills on the final two points of the match to give Brandeis the victory.

The Judges return to action this weekend at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh for the second of two University Athletic Association Round Robins, opening with NYU and No. 12 Chicago on Saturday and No. 6 Emory and host Carnegie Mellon on Sunday. Emerson returns to action to action this Monday as they travel to Anna Maria for a 7 p.m. game in Paxton, Mass.

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