WALTHAM, Mass. -- Behind a well-rounded team effort, the Brandeis University volleyball team kicked off the Judges Classic in style, defeating Lasell College in straight sets on the opening night of the two-day tournament. The Judges improved to 17-11 on the season, while the Lasers fell to 6-24. Set scores were 25-21, 25-13, 25-7.
Brandeis jumped out to an 18-9 lead in the opening set behind kills from four different players. A sloppy spell let Lasell get back into the game. The Lasers reeled off an 11-2 run behind seven attack errors and a service error from the Judges. Up 22-20, Brandeis traded points with Lasell before rattling off two-straight points to end the set. Outside hitter Si-Si Hensley (Fullerton, Calif./Troy) led the team with four kills in the set.
From there, the Judges ran away with the match. Leading 9-7 in the second, Brandeis went on a 16-6 run to take the set 25-13. The team used three different 6-0 runs in the third set to close things out at 25-7.
Outside hitter Liz Hood (Albuquerque, N.M./Albuquerque Acad.) led the team with 11 kills, while middle blocker Carly Gutner-Davis (Del Mar, Calif./Canyon Crest Acad.) had a career high with 10. Middle blocker Becca Fischer (San Antonio, Texas/Clark) had nine kills in just 14 attempts for an impressive .571 hitting percentage, and also led the team with three blocks. Setter Yael Einhorn (Cherry Hill, N.J./Cherry Hill East) chipped in 38 assists.
The Judges had all hands on deck defensively, as 12 different players registered a dig. Libero Elsie Bernaiche (Plantsville, Conn./Southington) led the way with 18 of them, while defensive specialist Susan Sun (Acton, Mass./Acton-Boxborough) chipped in 12.
The Lasers were well balanced offensively. Heather Longley (N. Granby, Conn./Granby) led the team with four kills, while three different players finished with three. Jordan Seid (Rowland Heights, Calif./John A. Rowland) led Lasell with 11 digs, while Alyssa Nahigian (Coventry, RI/Coventry) finished with nine assists and eight digs.
The Judges finish off the home portion of their schedule tomorrow. The squad takes on Keene State College at 12:00 p.m. before closing things out at 4:00 p.m. against the Westfield State Owls. A ceremony will take place before the second match to honor Brandeis' three seniors: Lauren Berens (Boulder, Colo./Fairview), Fischer and Sun.