Ephs volleyball nets second at Williams Quad

The Williams womens’ volleyball team started off its season with a new coach in Bobby Mosca and consecutive second-place showings at the Williams Invitational and the Williams Quad. The team’s now stands at 4-2.

Almost anything seemed possible at Saturday’s Williams Quad.

The day started out with Williams going up against Eastern Connecticut State University. Though ECSU had been ranked #3 in the region, the Ephs took care of ECSU rather quickly, defeating them 15-6 15-9 15-8. That led into the first of two very exciting matches to follow. Williams won the first two games of the match easily, 15-10 15-12.

Then came the third game.Williams seemed to be in control from the start, as they held the lead throughout much of the third game and and eventually led Skidmore 14-11. It seemed as though the Ephs would cruise into the Amherst game, having not given up one game to their opponents in their first two matches. But Skidmore did not go down so easily, taking the next three points to tie the game up at 14.

Williams took a timeout to regroup, but Skidmore continued its late roll and eventually took the game from Williams 16-14. Skidmore then won the fourth game 15-12. The fifth game was even more dramatic as the two teams battled for the lead throughout the game. It was almost fitting that they tied each other at 14, forcing the game to go to extra points to determine the winner. Skidmore would then cap its comeback and end up winning the match 17-15.

The Ephs, realizing that they did not want to lose Amherst after the heartbreaking loss to Skidmore, regrouped and went out to battle the Lord Jeffs in the hopes of finishing the tournament on a high note. The Lord Jeffs would win the first game 15-11. The Ephs would roar back in the second with a 15-6 win. The third was a close game, but ended with Amherst winning 15-13. Amherst used that momentum to get to an 8-3 lead in the fourth game. But, perhaps remembering Skidmore’s comeback against them, the Ephs didn’t give up in the fourth, reeling off a six unanswered points to take the lead 9-8.

Amherst and Williams would trade off points for a little bit but at the end Williams took over and won the game outright 15-12 and force a fifth game. The Ephs’ comeback in the fourth bouyed the team and revitalized the crowd’s spirits. That would prove to be the deciding factor in the fifth game. The Ephs took an early lead in the game and never really allowed Amherst to get very close in the game, one which the Ephs won 15-10.

Coach Bobby Mosca felt the team performed to the level he expected them to, noting that “a few plays here and there,” and the team’s overall outcome would have been different. He was pleased with the way the team refocused against Amherst after being “a little down” after the Skdimore game.

The previous week, at the Williams Invitational, the team once again finished 2-1 to finish second. Middlebury, also 2-1 on the day, finished first. The Ephs were led by Ford with 25 kills over the team’s three matches and Carmel Lyons ’03, who totaled 8 aces and 51 assists for the tournament. The Ephs defeated Rutgers-Newark and Middlbury but lost in four games to Trinity.

Ford said she felt the team is undergoing “a tough transition” right now as it tries to cope with the loss of three seniors to graduation and starter Kristine Taylor ’01 to injury. Two of the team’s starters are also first-years. In Ford’s mind, there are some encouraging signs, notably the play of Lyons, who has done well at setter.

“I don’t feel the we have reached our full potential yet this season,” she says, “but we have a really strong well-rounded team and I’m sure we’ll continue to get better.”

The Ephs travel to MIT this weekend to play at the MIT Invitational.

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