Key losses to Amherst and Middlebury the last two weeks have derailed the Williams volleyball team’s hopes of securing a NCAA berth. The team’s record now stands at 16-13.
The Ephs were unable to come out strong at this weekend’s Hall of Fame Tournament at Smith, as they finished 2-2 over the two-day tournament. On Friday, they defeated Brandeis 3-0 but lost to Springfield 3-0. On Saturday, the Ephwomen won a close match with Tufts 3-2 but lost a tough game to Bates 3-1. Bates and Springfield are among the top three ranked teams in the regional poll.
Earlier in the week, the Ephs faced one of their biggest rivals, Middlebury, in a match with important implications on NCAA postseason standings. Only two teams are expected to receive NCAA berths in NESCAC, with one already going out to Bates, so Williams’s record against NESCAC opponents would be a very important factor in determining if it will be the other NESCAC team to receive a bid.
Williams had beaten Middlebury earlier in the season at home. Unfortunately, this time, Williams was unable to duplicate its earlier victory and wound up losing to the Panthers 15-8, 8-15, 15-8, 15-11.
The loss to Middlebury came after a rough weekend at the Amherst Quad. The Ephs won, as expected, 3-0 over Bowdoin and Wesleyan. But, as in the case with Middlebury, the Ephs were unable to build upon an earlier defeat of Amherst, losing to the Lord Jeffs 3-0 (16-14, 15-8, 15-2) at Amherst’s LeFrak Gymnasium.In other matches, Williams blew past Westfield State 3-0 and lost a tight match to Smith 3-2.
The Ephs’ have a chance to improve their NESCAC record this weekend when they host the Little Three Championships at 11:00 on Saturday in Chandler Gymnasium. Before that, the Ephwomen will tune up with a match on Wednesday night at home against Vassar.