Volleyball season concludes, team looks to next year
The Brandeis volleyball team concluded its season last week, finishing with a 4–23 overall record and a 1–6 record in University Athletic Association play. Finishing with a meager .148 winning percentage, perhaps the highlight of the Judges’ season was gaining recognition on ESPN SportsCenter Top 10. Ultimately, the Judges’ season featured season-defining injuries and several long losing streaks, concluding with the departure of team leader Emma Bartlett ’20 and three Judges being awarded UAA honors.
At first glance, the Judges’ 4–23 record seems substandard. However, several players were lost early in the season due to injury, and the Judges were never able to recover.
Ultimately, in 27 matches this season, the team finished with 9.95 kills per match, 9.31 assists per match, 14.19 digs per set and a hitting percentage of .120. Offensively, Bartlett led the team 282 kills and 364 total points, with Marissa Borgert ’21 lead the team with 617 assists. Kaitlyn Oh ’22 led the team defensively with 294 digs.
The season started out promising for the team, as they won their first match against Westfield State University, finishing with a score of 3–0. However, after their first win, the Judges faced a six-game losing streak early in the season, falling to several teams outside of the UAA. As the season progressed, the team failed to win more than one game in a row, finishing the season with a ghastly 13-game losing streak. Racking up only four wins all season, the Judges successfully conquered Westfield State University, Worcester State University, the University of Rochester and Worcester Polytechnic Institute, with their final win of the season coming on Oct. 3.
At the end of the season, the Judges attended the UAA tournament in Chicago, IL, facing top-ranked Emory University, Case Western Reserve University and the University of Rochester. This tournament determined the team’s eighth-place finish in the UAA, as they fell in the deciding seventh-place match to the University of Rochester.
Although the team finished in eighth place in the UAA, several players had outstanding seasons and were subsequently awarded with All-UAA honors for the 2019 season. Bartlett, the team’s lone senior, was named to the second-team All-UAA squad. For the second year in a row, Bartlett was awarded All-UAA honors, playing in every match this season while leading the team with 2.88 kills per set and 0.89 blocks per set. Bartlett concludes her stellar Brandeis athletic career with 987 kills, tenth on Brandeis’ all-time list, 303 blocks, sixth all-time, along with a .204 hitting percentage. Honorable mentions were awarded to Marissa Borgert ’21 and Kaitlyn Oh ’22. Borgert excelled offensively while Oh, after overcoming injuries early in the season, led the team defensively. In fact, it was Oh who was featured on ESPN SportsCenter Top 10 earlier in the season, earning accolades for her excellent defensive play.
Looking towards the 2020 season, the team will lose its only senior, Emma Bartlett, from their starting squad, and the rest of the team will return. The Judges look to regain momentum and return to the form that earned them fifth place in UAA play in 2018.