Volleyball grinds out two wins at MIT Quad Tourney

Volleyball (15-8, 5-3 in the NESCAC) competed at the MIT Quad Tournament last weekend. The women dropped MIT 3-0 on Friday. On Saturday, the team lost to UMass-Boston 3-0 but thumped Western New England by a match score of 3-0. On Oct. 8, the women topped Bates 3-1 and Colby 3-0 at home, and on Oct. 7, the women fell 3-2 to Bowdoin at home. The team also lost to New Paltz State on Oct. 5 3-1.

Raea Rasmussen ’15
Rookie Raea Rasmussen ’15 had seven kills in the Ephs’ 3-0 victory over the Engineers at MIT on Friday. Photo by Sports Information.

The women crushed MIT last Friday, winning in straight sets (25-21, 25-16, 26-24). Co-captain and libero Aly McKinnon ’12 had a team-leading 12 digs, while Emily Doll ’14, Raea Rasmussen ’15 and Claire Miller ’15 had seven kills each.

“We had a great team win on Friday against MIT, which is a strong team in our region,” Head Coach Christi Kelsey said. “Everybody was able to contribute in a positive way.”

The women came up against UMass-Boston and Western New England on Day Two of the quad tournament. The Ephs lost the first set 25-19. They fell behind early in the second set, but staged a comeback before losing 25-22. The Beacons claimed the third set 25-18 to win 3-0. Even in the loss, Ephs played strong defense against the Beacons. Doll notched four blocks and Rasmussen had eight digs, with Emily Baratta ’14 recording seven digs. Baratta also had nine kills. Co-captain Haley Eagon ’13 had three blocks.

“UMass is the number one team in our region,” Kelsey said. “We are still working on being more consistent, but we played very well.”

The team rebounded in the next match to pound Western New England, claiming a 3-0 victory. The women won the first set 25-18. They took the second 25-22 and shut down Western New England 25-18 in the third.

Eagon and Baratta were named to the All-Tournament team.

On Oct. 8, the women picked up two conference wins at home against Colby and Bates. Their success came after a loss against Bowdoin, the top team in the NESCAC, on Oct. 7.

The women had a slow start against Colby, losing their first set 25-19. The Ephs came back to win the next three sets in dominating fashion (25-20, 25-12, 25-15) and take the match 3-1. Miller had 18 kills and Baratta had 13.

Williams crushed Bates, winning 3-0 with a considerable lead in each set (25-9, 25-17, 25-19).  Rookies Amanda Schott ’15 tallied 14 digs and Emily O’Day ’15 contributed 10 digs in the match.

The women fell to Bowdoin 3-2 on Oct. 7, constituting the program’s first ever loss to Bowdoin.

The Ephs started with a full-court press against the Polar Bears, taking the first two sets 25-23 and 25-20. In the third set Bowdoin rebounded and took a 5-0. Miller swung the momentum in the women’s favor with a much-needed kill, but Bowdoin came out on top winning the set 25-22. Bowdoin won the fourth set 25-23 and took the fifth 15-8 to claim a 3-2 win in the match.

Schott supplied a team-leading 40 assists, while McKinnon supplied 19 digs in the match. The game was the last at home for the season. McKinnon, the only graduating player, was honored for her four-year commitment to the team, in which she totaled 1142 digs and 108 service aces.

“We played some of the best volleyball we’ve played all year in the first two sets,” Kelsey said. “We continued to battle for the rest of the match, but Bowdoin is a very experienced team. We played some great volleyball.”

Overall, Kelsey was pleased with the women’s performance over reading period. “The NESCAC weekend was great,” Kelsey said. “Two wins out of three was huge for us, and it was big for us to be able to bounce back [after Friday’s loss] and still pick up two wins on [Oct. 8].”

On Oct. 5, the women fell 3-1 to New Paltz State. The Hawks took the first set 25-12, but the Ephs claimed the second set 25-22. New Paltz State then claimed the next two sets 25-15 and 25-19 to earn the match victory.

The team will travel to Northampton to compete at the Hall of Fame Tournament on Friday and Saturday. Among the competition, the women will face Wellesley and Tufts.