WALTHAM, Mass. -The Brandeis University volleyball team took a step closer to defending its Eastern College Athletic Conference New England Division III title Wednesday as the top-seeded Judges defeated No. 8 seed Plymouth State University in a first-round match, 3-0. Game scores were 30-20, 30-18, 30-10.
Brandeis (26-10) only trailed briefly in the match, at the start of games one and three. The Judges won seven out of eight points to turn a 2-2 tie in game one into a 9-3 lead, while 9-2 run in game two increased the lead from 10-9 to 19-11. Brandeis was never challenged in game three after dropping the first point, jumping out to a 7-2 advantage and never looking back.
The Judges were paced by junior outside hitter Lorraine Wingenbach (Buffalo, N.Y.), who had 13 kills, including the 1500th of her career. She is the second player in school history to reach that plateau. Wingenbach also had nine digs. Sophomore middle hitter Bridget McAllister (Santa Clara, Calif.) had 11 kills and a .409 hitting percentage. Rookie setter Abby Blasco (Greeley, Colo.) led the squad with 36 assists, 13 digs and four service aces.
Plymouth State (20-12) was led offensively by sophomore middle hitter Eliza Badeau (Foster, R.I.), who had seven kills and four blocks. Junior libero Sarah Spears (Meredith, N.H.) paced the team defensively with 14 digs, while sophomore setter Brianna Kleckner (Terryville, Conn.) had 14 assists.
Brandeis will now host the ECAC tournament semifinals and finals on Saturday, Nov. 10. The Judges will take on the winner of the quarterfinal between No. 4 Johnson & Wales and No. 5 Keene State at 11 a.m., with second-seeded U.S. Coast Guard Academy facing the winner of No. 3 Colby-Sawyer and No. 6 Smith in the other semifinal at 1 p.m. The championship match will take place at 4 p.m. on Saturday.
(Courtesy of Brandeis Sports Information)
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