Volleyball: Little Three heartbreak

Despite a mid-week win, the week ended in disappointment for the women’s volleyball team. Plagued by injuries and a difficult schedule, the team was unable to pull out a victory at this year’s Little Three Tournament.

On Saturday the Ephs traveled to Wesleyan for the annual Little Three Championships. Amherst, looking to avenge its loss to the Ephs earlier in the month, was their first opponent. Williams started slowly, giving up the first two games. With Amherst up 6-0 in the third game, it looked as if the match might be over quickly but, with their backs against the walls, the Ephs responded and began to chip away at the Amherst lead. The rest of the third game saw Williams at its finest as the team fought for a 15-12 victory. The fourth game saw the Ephs put forth a similar effort as they outplayed Amherst to take another 15-12 win. With the match tied at two games apiece, the teams entered the fifth and final rally score game. Amherst jumped out to the early lead, going up 8-6. Once again, the Ephs fought until they garnered a 12-10 lead over the Jeffs. However, the Jeffs did not give up and Williams succumbed, giving up the fifth game 15-13 and losing the heartbreaker match 3-2.

The Wesleyan Cardinals, another team defeated by the Ephs earlier in the season, were Williams’ next opponent. Perhaps dejected from the loss to Amherst moments before, Williams gave up the first game to a hard-swinging Wesleyan team, 15-9. Williams came into the second game with a fire and were able to take a 13-7 lead, eventually winning the game 15-12. Wesleyan would not give up and continued the comeback they began in the previous game, taking the next two games from the Ephs quickly to win the match 3-1.

Earlier in the week, Williams traveled to New York where it faced Vassar. Despite a new lineup Williams was able to compete without a hitch. The first game was the closest as the Ephs adjusted to the new positions, but they were able to pull out a 15-11 win. The next two games were much easier for Williams, taking the second 15-9 and dominating the third 15-2. Several Ephs put forth solid performances for Williams in the effort as they rolled to a 3-0 victory and their 21st win on the year.

With its record standing at 21-11 Williams looks to the upcoming weekend. Then it will travel to Bowdoin for the final NESCAC tournament, the winner of which will receive an automatic NCAA bid. This is a pivotal tournament for all teams, as with the new regulations guarding NCAA competition only one NESCAC school will be able to attend the NCAA tournament despite the intense competition and level of play within the conference. In their first match, Williams takes on Trinity on Friday evening.