WALTHAM, Mass.- On the final day of play at the MIT Invitational, Brandeis (11-4) fell to MIT (14-2) and defeated Mount Ida (2-9). Despite dropping a tough four set match to the Engineers, the Judges rebounded quickly to win in four sets against the Mustangs and secure a 2-2 record at the MIT Invitational.
In their first match of the day, the Judges faced a tough MIT squad that had defeated Bates and Roger Williams in their first two matches of the Invitational to improve to 12-2. In the first set, Brandeis rode the momentum from their win last night with sophomore outside hitter Liz Hood (Albuquerque, N.M./ Albuquerque Acad.) leading the way in kills. Thanks to a strong all around effort and a ratio of 11 kills to five errors, the Judges took the set 25-22. Unfortunately, the match became an uphill battle from that point on. Brandeis struggled with their attack in the second and third sets, getting just seven kills to five errors in both sets as they fell 17-25 and 11-25. Still, despite being down 2-1, the Judges rebounded with an excellent attack in the fourth set featuring a .205 attacking percentage and 14 kills to just 5 errors. Brandeis reached set point at 24-21 and an opportunity to send the match to a decisive fifth set but the Engineers fought back just in time, winning five consecutive points to take the set 26-24 and the match 3-1.
In their final match at the MIT Invitational, the Judges took on Mount Ida. Brandeis started off slow in the first set and struggled to string any runs together with a poor kills to errors ratio of 10:11. In the back and forth affair the Mustangs managed to gain a slight advantage and win 28-26. That first set loss appeared to really spark Brandeis as they rebounded quickly in the second set and pulled away towards the end with an 8-2 run to win 25-17. After getting that win under their belts, the Judges took off with an incredible .385 attacking percentage in the third set that resulted in 12 kills to just two errors en route to a 25-16 win and a 2-1 lead. In the fourth set, Brandeis only managed nine kills to five errors but were efficient with a .250 attacking percentage and closed out the match 25-11 to win 3-1.
Against MIT, Hood led the squad with 11 kills while senior middle blocker Lauren Berens (Boulder, Colo./ Fairview) joined her in double-digits with 10. Sophomore libero Elsie Bernaiche (Plantsville, Conn./ Southington) was the only Judge with double-digit digs as she recorded a match-high 22 and junior setter Yael Einhorn (Cherry Hill, N.J./ Cherry Hill East) orchestrated the Brandeis attack with 33 assists. For the Engineers, junior middle blocker Kristine Bunker (Falmouth, Mass./ Falmouth) led the offense with 14 kills while senior outside hitter Trinity Leonard (Mill Valley, Calif./ St. Ignatius) racked up a double-double with 12 kills and a team-high 16 digs. Three other teammates joined her in double-digit digs with senior libero Katie Spielbauer (Lakeview, Mich./ Morely Stanwood) recording 14 as junior defensive specialist Sharon Hao (San Jose, Calif./ Lynbrook) and rookie defensive specialist Lindsey Wang (Cupertino, Calif./ Castilleja School) each had 11.
In their match against Mount Ida, Hood had a match-high 16 kills and just missed a double-double with nine digs while Berens racked up nine. Bernaiche had a match-high 21 digs and Einhorn engineered the offense with a match-high 30 assists. For the Mustangs, senior outside hitter Jennifer Ferreira (Shirley, Mass./ Ayer) led the way with 13 kills while rookie defensive specialist Kelcey Koolman (Bedford, N.H./ Bedford) had a team-high 12 digs. Sophomore setter Nicole Peixoto (New Bedford, Mass./ New Bedford) orchestrated Mount Ida's offense with 25 assists.
Brandeis' next set of matches begin on September 29th at the UAA Round Robin Tournament at the University of Chicago. MIT continues their season at home on September 25th against the U.S. Coast Guard Academy at 7:00 p.m. Mount Ida's next match is on September 25th at Suffolk College.