The Ephs finished fourth at the Bates Invitational after compiling a 2-2 record over the course of the two day tournament. The team’s record now stands at 10-8 for the year. Williams, ranked #5 in New England, advanced to the championship bracket after finishing undefeated in its pool.
Williams started things off with a 15-17, 15-10, 15-3, 15-10 win over Plymouth State. For Williams, it would be the only match of the tournament that didn’t go five games. The Ephs then had to beat Wheaton to advance to the championship bracket, which they did 15-11, 11-15, 6-15, 15-5, 15-13.
Unfortunately for Williams, its luck in five-game matches would not last through Saturday. In the first match of the championship bracket, it faced host team Bates, ranked #2 in the region.
Despite that, the Ephs were competitive with the Bobcats as they forced the set to five games. However, the eventual tournament champion Bobcats would not let Williams upset them on their homecourt and wound up winning the match 15-10, 15-17, 15-6, 8-15,15-7.
Williams next faced MIT, ranked #4 in the region. The match once again went to five games, and in the end would go MIT’s way. MIT came out with a 6-15, 15-6, 16-18, 15-13, 15-10 victory over Williams.
Eph Carmel Lyons ’03 was named to the All-Tournament Team.
Players felt that the team could have done better at Bates. Kelly Grant ’00 said the team came into Bates hoping to win and came wanted to beat MIT and Bates (the teams ranked higher than they) to demonstrate that it deserved to be ranked higher than #5.
Grant and Katie Ford ’00 felt the team had stepped up its play at Bates but needed to be more consistent throughout all of the weekend’s matches, especially in the clutch. This week, said Grant, “we’re focusing on maintaining our intensity and a winning attitude.”
“We have definitely stepped up our level of play and are playing well as a team, but we have not become consistent with our level of play yet. With long weekends such as this one, it is key to maintain the team’s energy level for every match.”
The Ephs will travel to St. Joseph’s on Wednesday and then host the Williams Fall Classic on Friday and Saturday in Chandler.
“For our up and coming games,” said Ford, “we really have to focus on doing whatever it takes to win. We are 8-6 and can’t afford any more losses if we want to keep our hopes for qualifying for the NCAA tournament.”
Grant sees this weekend’s tournament as a time to reassert the dominance of Williams volleyball. She notes that, with the exception of MIT, the team will be seeing some weaker teams than those it saw at Bates. She feels that, after the team’s slow start, it really needs to dominate and win some of its matches this weekend, including defeating some schools in three games.
MIT is likely to provide the Ephs’ most formidable challenge this weekend, but Grant feels the Ephs are the stronger team and should be able to prevail in a possible rematch this weekend.
The Williams Fall Classic will take place Friday and Saturday in Chandler. Matches on both days are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. All are encouraged to attend.