Tartan volleyball wins two UAA match-ups

This past weekend, the Carnegie Mellon women’s volleyball team traveled to Cleveland to participate in the second round of the University Athletic Association (UAA) Round Robin tournament.

The Tartans faced New York University, Brandeis University, Emory University, and the University of Rochester. The Tartans defeated New York and Rochester.

On Saturday, the Tartans opened the tournament against New York, defeating the Violets in three games (30–24, 30–26, 30–28). The Tartans had not won a match against New York since the 2004 season.

Sophomore middle hitter Jessica Brackin and junior middle hitter Chisom Amaechi led the Tartans, combining for a total of 21 kills. “Brackin and Amaechi really stepped up for the team, played well, and had some really clutch hits for us,” senior middle hitter Abbie Toney said.

“It was an awesome game,” Amaechi said. “Everything was on point, our passing [and] servicing. We were just a cohesive unit and they just couldn’t play with us.”

Also vital in the game against New York was senior outside hitter Katie Stepp, with eight kills and six digs, and sophomore setter Samantha Carter, who set up 38 kills, served two aces, and had four blocks.

Later Saturday afternoon, the Tartans faced Brandeis, falling to the Judges in five games. The Tartans won the first (30–25) and third games (30–22) of the match, but could not hold off a Brandeis rally during game four. The Judges won the final game 16–14 to secure the match win.

First-year middle hitter Caroline Size, Brackin, and Stepp had 11 kills during the match. Toney added eight blocks to the Tartan total.

“We really went in there thinking we would beat [Brandeis],” Toney said. “It was a game we shouldn’t have lost.”

Sunday began for the Tartans with a game against the nationally ranked Emory team. The Tartans lost the match 3–0, by scores of 30–23, 30–22, 30–21.

Size led the team with 11 kills, with Carter providing 25 assists and first-year defensive specialist Cameron Griffin coming up with 11 digs. Brackin led Carnegie Mellon with four blocks.

To end the tournament, the Tartans rallied to defeat the Rochester Yellowjackets 3–0, compiling scores of 30–20, 30–25 and 30–24.

Brackin and Amaechi led Carnegie Mellon with 12 kills apiece, supported by Toney, who had 10 kills during the game. Carter compiled 42 assists and six service aces.

“It was a good game,” Brackin said. “We really came back after Emory. We had a lot of trouble with the little things and we improved 100 percent.”

Two weeks ago, the volleyball team ended the first UAA Round Robin with a 2–1 record, boasting wins against the University of Chicago and Case Western Reserve University.

The second Round Robin brought the Tartans’ record to 14–10 and 4–3 in UAA play. Carnegie Mellon will finish its home schedule this Wednesday with a game against La Roche College. The game will be played at Skibo Gym.

“We really just need to work on consistency. When we’re on, we can play with anyone,” Brackin said. “We just need to make sure we stay on.”

“We really want to keep on track. We’re at our peak right now and we want to stay there,” Amaechi said. “We want to keep on winning big games, getting upsets, and ultimately trying for an NCAA bid.”