Oct. 29, 2010
WALTHAM, MA - The University of Massachusetts Boston volleyball team defeated Brandeis University, 3-1, tonight in the opener of the 2010 Judges Classic in Auerbach Arena. Set scores were 25-15, 22-25, 26-24, 25-19. The Beacons, who received 30 votes in the most recent Division III American Volleyball Coaches Association national poll, win their seventh straight match to improve to 25-2 for their best start in school history while the loss drops the Judges to 13-15 on the season.
UMass Boston came out of the gates quickly in the first set, jumping ahead 5-1 early, and Brandeis was never able to recover as they fell, 25-15. The second set was a dramatic affair, as the Judges raced out to a 5-1 lead, but the Beacons rallied to tie it at 9-9. Neither team was able to reestablish any momentum, as the lead was never greater than two points until the end of the set. Trailing 19-17, the Judges scored five in a row, four of which came on UMB errors, to go ahead, 21-19. The Beacons evened the score again at 21-21, but kills by sophomore opposite Lauren Berens (Boulder, CO) and senior setter Abby Blasco (Greeley, CO) keyed a 4-1 run to take the set and even the match at one set apiece.
The third set was an equally back-and-forth affair. Neither team was able to establish a rhythm and UMass Boston took a 21-20 lead after a timeout on a kill by sophomore middle hitter Shannon Thompson (Moorpark, CA). Brandeis senior Paige Blasco (Greeley, CO) put the Judges on her back for a stretch, getting kills on three straight points and forcing the Beacons to take a timeout trailing, 23-21. UMB responded to head coach Terry Condon in the break, going on to score five of the last six points of the set. Rookie outside hitter Corrine Porter (Landera Ranch, CA) and sophomore middle hitter Alexa Sullivan (South Dennis, MA) had kills during the run and combined to block the winning point. After Brandeis got off to a 7-2 lead in the fourth set, UMass battled back to take their first lead at 18-17 and went on to close out the match on an 8-2 run.
Porter finished the match with a team-high 16 kills to go along with 15 digs while Thompson chipped in with 14 kills and 13 digs in the win. Sophomore libero Bethany Rossoll (Colorado Springs, CO) registered a match-high 17 digs while junior setter ran the offensive with 28 assists on the night.
Brandeis was paced by Paige Blasco, who had 17 kills for the Judges with just four errors in 44 attempts for a .295 hitting percentage. Abby Blasco finished with 31 assists and 11 digs, tied with sophomore libero Susan Sun (Acton, MA) for team-high. Senior Nicole Smith (Marietta, GA) and sophomore Becca Fischer (San Antonio, TX) tied for team-high honors at the net with four blocks each. Fischer had three solo blocks, Smith had one.
Both teams will be back in action tomorrow (10/30) during day two of the Judges Classic. UMass Boston will take on Clarkson at 12:00 p.m. and Tufts at 2:00 p.m. while Brandies will play Tufts at 12:00 p.m. and Clarkson at 2:00 p.m.
*Release content courtesy of Brandeis Sports Information Dept.