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W. volleyball earns split at tourney

The Bears (4-7) battled for a 1-1 split this weekend at the Bryant Invitational. After sweeping Howard University (3-17) in the first match, Brown narrowly fell to the host Bulldogs (3-11), 3-2, in the second. Brianna Williamson '11 fueled the Bears with a combined 27 kills, 22 digs and six service aces.

"I think that the team is really improving and definitely stronger than our record shows," said Head Coach Diane Short. "Brianna Williamson is having her best year at Brown. She has had a very consistent overall game and that has been really nice to see."

Brown dominated in the first game against Howard, running up a 25-14 score for an early 1-0 lead. Although the Bison gained some rhythm in the next two sets, the Bears again came out on top, outscoring Howard 26-24 in both sets for the sweep.

"I was really thrilled about our win over Howard," Williamson said. "In the second and third games we were very close at the end, and it was a great feeling for our team to pull that off. We are proving that we can play well when it matters."

In addition to Williamson's contributions, Megan Toman '11 earned 16 kills and seven digs to add to the Bears success. Christina Berry '13 added nine kills and seven digs.

Short praised the defense, pointing to freshmen Berry and Carly Cotton '13, who carried the Bears in digs this weekend. Cotton led Brown's defense with a team-high 11 digs in the first match and 28 against Bryant. Berry earned a combined 23 digs. 

"The freshmen have really stepped up this season and have helped the team come together as a whole," Williamson said.

Following the decisive victory against Howard, Brown took the court against Bryant. Although the Bears put up a strong fight, their efforts fell short of victory. Bryant took an early 2-0 lead, outscoring Bruno 25-22 and 25-21 in the first two sets. The Bears, however, retaliated in the third, 25-20, and retained the momentum in the fourth for a 25-19 win.

Despite a valiant effort, the Bears were clipped by the Bulldogs in the fifth set, 15-13, for a disappointing 3-2 loss.

Berry had an exceptional match, earning 15 kills and 16 digs, followed by co-captain Danielle Vaughan '11, who scored another 12 kills. Alexandra Ilistad '13 was described by her teammates as "really impressive," as she stepped into the setter position late into the Bryant match.

The Bears will open their Ivy League season on the road against Yale on Friday at 7 p.m.

"This weekend is going to be a tough challenge as we're up against the defending Ivy League Champion," Short said. "We are looking to improve on last year's results and to compete well against them. I don't think anyone is really expecting anything from us, so we are going to try to sneak up on them."




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