The women’s volleyball team’s season ended this past Sunday with a loss in the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference Division III semifinals. Brandeis finished the year 17-15 overall (including playoffs) for its first winning season in five years. With no seniors on the roster, the team will look to come back even stronger next season in 2018 as it builds on this year’s incredible run.

Judges 1, FDU-Florham 3

Brandeis ended its season with a hard-fought 3-1 loss at the hands of Fairleigh Dickinson University-Florham on Sunday in Frostburg, Maryland. The team played admirably, but fell just short by scores of 26-24, 25-22, 19-25 and 22-25. This was FDU-Florham’s 27th victory of the season, as the squad was too powerful for the Judges to defeat.

Middle hitter Emma Bartlett ’20 led the Judges on offense with a match-high total of 19 kills at a remarkable .371 clip. Setter Marlee Nork ’19 had a double-double on the day with 30 assists and 16 digs. Right side hitter Marissa Borgert ’21 ended her breakout campaign with a double-double of her own, totaling 20 assists and 11 digs. Libero Yvette Cho ’19 led the match with 29 digs.

Judges 3, Bethany 2

On Saturday, the Judges outlasted the Bethany College Bison 3-2 by scores of 25-23, 33-31, 18-25, 21-25 and 15-6 in the ECAC quarterfinals. Coming into the match with a 23-12 record, the Bison were looking to stampede over the Judges en route to the semifinals of the tournament. The Judges hammered past their formidable foes, however, and asserted their dominance as a legitimate force in Division III play.

Outside hitter Shea Decker-Jacoby ’19 led the charge with a double-double, recording 14 kills and 20 digs in an all-around performance. Cho had 48 digs for the match — 16 more than anyone else from both teams. Nork and Borgert both had double-doubles on the day. Nork came up with 23 assists and 21 digs, while Borgert totaled 21 assists and 10 digs. Nork also had two service aces while Borgert recorded five block assists. Bartlett was a key contributor as well. She was second on the team in points with 13.5, only trailing Decker-Jacoby’s 14.

Judges 3, Brooklyn 0

The Judges opened the ECAC tournament with a dominant 3-0 victory by scores of 25-7, 25-16 and 25-13 against the Brooklyn College Bulldogs on Wednesday. Playing at home, the squad cruised past its opponents and proved that it belonged in this playoff tournament.

Decker-Jacoby dominated with 12 kills, 10 digs and 2 service aces in the shutout win. Right side hitter Zara Platt ’19 had eight kills, with an impressive .385 kill percentage, to help put away the Bulldogs. The team was firing on all cylinders with team kill percentages of .350, .171 and .310, respectively, for the three sets. 

With no graduating seniors and a whole offseason to add on to this past year’s outstanding recruitment, the sky’s the limit for this talented team. The squad has immense depth, strong leadership and an inspiring coaching staff that turned this team completely around in just one season. There is a lot to be excited about moving forward, as it appears Brandeis is just getting started with its potential. Look for the Judges to come back even stronger next season with a plethora of talent and a reason to be feared throughout Division III.