Volleyball loses to Jeffs; finishes second in Little Three

Williams hosted its last home matches of the season this week, defeating Vassar and Wesleyan but losing to Amherst. The team’s record now stands at 18-14.

Williams hosted the Little III Championships over the weekend, losing to Amherst and defeating Wesleyan. The Little III contest marked the last home game of the season for the Ephs, and the last home game ever for Williams seniors Katie Ford ’00, Cordy Ransom ’00 and Kelly Grant ’00. The Ephs started out slowly against Amherst as they quickly fell behind to the Lord Jeffs in the first and wound up losing to Amherst 15-6.

In the second game, the Ephs reversed the trend and got off to a quick 4-0 lead. Amherst rebounded, though, and wound up tying the score at six. Amherst took control of the game from there and won the game 15-10.

The third game was evenly contested all around, as both teams stayed close to each other the entire game. At the end, Amherst began to pull away, leading 14-10, but Williams thwarted the Amherst victory numerous times, bringing the score to 14-12. The two sides traded a number of sideouts, but Amherst would pull through in the end to take the game 15-12 and the match 3-0.

Ford had 13 kills and four digs while Carmel Lyons ’03 had 34 assists, three kills, and 13 digs in the game. Amherst would go on to win the Little III after dispatching Wesleyan 15-12, 15-7, 10-15, 15-4 in its next game. Williams would not lose both games of the Little III, though. In its 3 p.m. match against Wesleyan, the Ephs once again started out slowly. Wesleyan held an early lead of 10-5 over Williams. But the Ephs were rallied to tie the game at 12. Wesleyan and Williams traded off points and Wesleyan eventually held a 14-13 lead. The Ephs, trying not to concede the first game to the Cardinals, fought back and took a 15-14 lead. Wesleyan forced a couple sideouts but could not stop the Ephs from winning the first game 16-14. The first game provided the only drama in this match. Williams and Wesleyan played evenly throughout the second game but Williams got the upper hand once again and came out on top 15-12. In the third, Williams overwhelmed Wesleyan, defeating the Cardinals 15-1.

The outcome of the third was never in doubt as the Ephs jumped out on top of Wesleyan 6-0 and never looked back. Earlier in the week, the Ephs withstood a tough challenge from Vassar but came back to win 3-2. Vassar got out to the quick lead by winning the first game 15-10. Williams quickly rebounded and went on to dominate Vassar in the second game, winning 15-3. Vassar responded with a 15-5 win in the third.

That set the stage for the last two exciting games of the match. In the fourth, it looked like Vassar was going to go home with an upset of Williams as it quickly got off to a 7-2 lead. Williams would not give up, though, quickly regrouping after a timeout and dominating Vassar. It would not let Vassar get another point that game, winning by the final score of 15-7. The fifth game would prove to be more exciting than the fourth. Vassar again got out to the quick lead, this time by the margin of 8-4. The Ephs again used a timeout to regroup. They responded by tying up the game eventually at 9-9. After Vassar took a timeout, Williams handed serve to Susie Kaldis ’02 and her strong serves helped the Ephs capture four straight points and give them a seemingly insurmountable lead at 13-9.

But victory was not yet assured for Williams as Vassar battled back with three straight points of their own to bring the score to 13-12. Williams would then get a point but Vassar would subsequently get one of its own. The score stood at 14-13 and it ended one point later as Katie Ford ’00 got a kill to end the game and preserve the Williams victory. Ford had 13 kills total for the game. Carmel Lyons ’03 had 34 assists and seven digs while Brooke Toczylowski ’03 had 10 kills and 22 digs.

“We had a slow start (against Amherst),” said coach Bobby Mosca, “but played with them at times. We might see them at NESCAC’s next weekend.”

Next week is the NESCAC Championship, held at Trinity. Mosca notes the only way the Ephs can qualify for NCAAs is by finishing first at next weekend’s tournament. Because of their high rank, they will receive a bye the first round and play only one game on Friday. They will then play two games at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturday to determine their standing in NESCAC. If the Ephs do not finish first at NESCAC, Mosca says they could qualify for the ECAC Championships.

In the end, their season boils down to this weekend and the tema’s ability to come through at NESCAC will determine its shot at postseason play in either the NCAA or ECAC tournament.

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