Volleyball rallies to defeat NYU, 3-2, and win fifth-place at UAA Championships

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The Brandeis University volleyball team turned its best performance at the University Athletic Association (UAA) in a decade today as the Judges rallied from two sets down to defeat New York University in the conference's fifth-place match today. Set scores were 17-25, 18-25, 25-22, 25-21, 15-7. Brandeis closes its 2018 season with a 13-17 record after winning its final two matches, while NYU ends up at 18-16 for the regular season.

"I'm so proud of the way we finished this match," said head coach Alesia Vaccari. "NYU started the match strong, but we did a great job finishing. It's something we've been talking about all season. Everyone on the team contributed."

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • The Judges hitters struggled in the first two sets, hitting below .100 in both sets as NYU won, 25-17 and 25-18.
  • Brandeis started its comeback by getting off to a fast start in the third set. Tied at 3-3, the Judges went on a 7-0 run, highlighted by two Shea Decker-Jacoby (Los Angeles, Calif./Marymount) kills and a block by junior Emma Bartlett (Duxbury, Mass./Duxbury) and rookie Emerson White (Lexington, Ky./Sayre) that capped the string.
  • The teams traded blows the rest of the way, but Brandeis hung on for the 25-22 win.
  • In the fourth set, after the Violets scored the first point, Brandeis answered with the next four and never trailed again. Although NYU tied the set at 5-5, another six-point run by the Judges put it away.
  • Decker-Jacoby had a kill and two blocks in the run, with Bartlett assisting both. NYU got within two at 13-11, but the Judges did not let them get any closer in forcing the fifth set, 25-21.
  • The Judges roared out of the gate in the fifth set, establishing a 5-2 lead and taking an 8-5 edge into the changeover.
  • The Violets got within one at 8-7, but Brandeis closed them out by scoring seven of the match's final eight points. Three kills came from Bartlett down the stretch as the Judges completed the comeback, 15-8, winning it on a kill by sophomore Marissa Borgert (Blaine, Minn./Spring Lake Park).

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

  • The Judges finished with a balanced attack as three players finished in double figures in kills. Bartlett led the way with a match-high 14 kills. She also led the team in hitting percentage, with just four errors in 31 attacks for a .323 percentage.
  • Borgert added 13 kills and a match-high 29 assists for her fourth double-double of the season. Her kill total was one shy of her season-best.
  • Decker-Jacoby added 10 kills, her ninth match this season in double figures.
  • Defensively, Bartlett led the net players with six blocks, while White had four.
  • Rookie Kaitlyn Oh (Santa Clara, Calif./Cupertino) contributed 36 digs to lead all players, while senior Yvette Cho (San Diego, Calif./Rancho Bernardo) had 12.
  • After getting outhit, .261-.063, in the first two sets, the Judges turned the tables in the final three with a .186-.046 advantage.

HISTORIC FINISH

  • The fifth-place finish by the Judges is their best since finishing fourth in the 2008 and 2007 seasons.
  • Prior to this weekend, Brandeis had not posted a win at the UAA tournament since 2010.
  • The Judges had been 0-4 in five-set matches this season.
  • Last year, Brandeis and NYU played a five-set match in the seventh-place match, with the Violets coming from two sets down to win.