Eighth-seeded volleyball pushes top-seed CMU to the brink before falling in five

Marissa Borgert '21 sets for Emma Bartlett '20
Marissa Borgert '21 sets for Emma Bartlett '20

ATLANTA, Ga. – The eighth-seeded Brandeis University volleyball team nearly pulled off a historic upset today, but the Judges' efforts against top-seeded Carnegie Mellon - the ninth-ranked team in all of Division III - fell just short in a 3-2 loss in the opening round of the University Athletic Association tournament. No UAA match between a top- and eighth-seed is believed to have gone five sets in the past.

Brandeis took the first set, 25-21, and had opportunities to win the second before falling, 30-28. The Tartans looked to put Brandeis away with a 25-17 win in the third, but the Judges answered with a 26-24 victory in the fourth set. The decisive fifth set was tied at 6-6 before the Tartans pulled away with a 9-2 run to take it, 15-8.

Brandeis (15-12) moves to the consolation bracket later tonight, where they will meet Case Western Reserve at 6 p.m. CMU (28-3) will take on Emory at 4 p.m. in the tournament semifinals.


  • The Judges had a couple of tremendous individual efforts to push CMU to the brink. Leading the way was rookie right-side hitter Marissa Borgert (Blaine, Minn. / Spring Lake Park), who recorded her first collegiate triple-double. Borgert tied for match-high honors with a career-best 20 kills while distributing 15 assists and recording 13 digs, two short of her season record.
  • Junior Shea Decker-Jacoby (Los Angeles, Calif./Marymount) ended up with a double-double, hammering home 15 kills with a career-high 26 digs.
  • Junior setter Marlee Nork (Chicago, Ill./Walter Payton College Prep) added 33 assists, her fourth 30-assist match of the season, while also contributing a career-high 20 digs.  
  • Junior libero Yvette Cho (San Diego, Calif./Rancho Bernardo) led the team with 35 digs, two shy of her season high.
  • The Judges' .138 hitting percentage (58 K-27 E-225 TA) was their best in the UAA this season.


  • Carnegie Mellon's Lauren Mueller tied for match-high honors with Borgert with 20 kills. She also had 20 digs.
  • Eliza Donahue and Sarah Jurgens also had 14 kills each for the Tartans.
  • CMU libero Kayla Yew had a match-high 41 digs, while Maia So-Holloway led all players with 48 assists while adding 24 digs of her own.
  • CMU hit for a .215 percentage (68 K-22 E-214 TA) for the match. The Tartans outhit the Judges in the pivotal second set, .380 (20 K-1 E-50 TA) to /316 (22 K-4 E-57 TA).


  • The Judges meet fifth-seeded Case Western Reserve University – coached by Karen Farrell '93 – in the consolation semifinals tonight. The match is scheduled for a 6 p.m. start, but the Judges' lengthy opener is expected to push start times back.
  • CMU meets Emory in the tournament semifinals around 4 p.m.