Volleyball downs Jeffs, Jumbos

Another successful weekend has gone by for women’s volleyball (8-0-0), who racked up two wins this weekend, one on Friday against Amherst and the other against Tufts on Saturday.

Williams claimed victory against Amherst 3-0, winning the games 30-17, 30-25 and 30-25. The Ephwomen showed strength throughout the match and their dominance was visible to all in attendance. In the first game, the girls took an early eight-point lead, which developed into a 30-17 win, making the Jeffs look utterly helpless.

In the second match, the Amherst women were down early, but then tried to redeem themselves by coming within two points of Williams. However, it was to no avail and Williams eventually beat them out 30-25. The third game, like the second, was close but the Ephs still had the upper hand and Amherst could not rebound from Williams’ six-point lead nearing the end of the game.

One of the major reasons for the Ephs’ relentless strength was the return of Robin Young ’05, who was missing from last weekend’s games due to an injury. Among her contributions in the match this weekend, Young had 15 kills. “Robin made a huge difference in our game tonight,” Head Coach Fran Vandermeer said. “Having her leadership and her skills on the court was huge.”

“However,” Akilah Rogers ’04 said, “as usual it was definitely a team effort.” Joyia Chadwick ’05 also played extremely well; her 18 kills earned her NESCAC female Athlete of the Week honors. Rogers also contributed and according to Vandermeer, “she looked more confident.” Overall, the match against Amherst was a real signal of the intensity and skill of the team this year, and was arguably their most successful outing yet.

The women did not let their guard down on Saturday either, when they went up against Tufts, to win again 3-0 (30-11, 30-24, and 30-23). The first game passed by quickly and effortlessly for the women, who won the game by 19, winning seven of the last eight points played. Tufts came back initially in the second game, but the Eph defense quickly shut them down and the unyielding offense secured the win at 30-24.

In the third game, the Ephs also showed off their ability to finish well. After building a four point lead (23-19) Williams only allowed Tufts four more points before winning 30-23. Although Tufts did put pressure on the Ephwomen, this second win of the weekend was definitely a testament to the strength, and more importantly, the stamina of this team.

The women were strong across the board in the Tufts game this weekend, but as always there were definitely a few standout players. “I would say that Meg Demment [’05] is really stepping up,” Rogers said. “She has been the starting setter for the past two seasons and has made a wonderful transition to the Libero position. On the same note, Alexis Knepp [’07] has done a great job leading the team considering she is a freshman starting setter.”

Chadwick played a role on the defensive side in the match against Tufts, as well as contributing some major kills, which helped keep the momentum of the team going strong. Rogers also had a successful match in supporting the team both on and off the courts. “Robin [Young] and Joyia [Chadwick] both had a strong presence in both games. Joyia’s blocking is just getting better with every game,” Rogers said.

The team will go up against MIT this Friday at 2:30 p.m. in Cambridge, which should be an interesting match, considering the teams’ heated battle in their last match, which ended with Williams barely pulling out the win in the fifth game.