Volleyball falls twice in Hall of Fame tourney

Volleyball (16-10, 5-3 in the NESCAC) participated in the Hall of Fame Tournament hosted by Smith and Mount Holyoke last Friday and Saturday. Williams finished 1-2 in the tournament, defeating Wheaton 3-0 on Friday before falling 3-2 to Wellesley and 3-0 to Tufts on Saturday. Williams started the tournament strong, defeating Wheaton in straight sets with scores of 25-10, 25-12 and 25-17. The women turned in a dominant service game as they recorded a season-high 14 aces, including a team-high five aces from co-captain libero Aly McKinnon ’12. Outside hitter and middle blocker Raea Rasmussen ’15 also contributed three aces. The Ephs were dominant at the net as well, with outside hitter Emily Baratta ’14 recording nine kills and middle blocker Emily Doll ’14 chipped in seven.

Against Wellesley last Saturday, Williams got out to a fast start and took the first set 25-13. Wellesley responded with a strenuous back-and-forth 25-17 win in the second set; Williams responded and claimed the third set 25-14. However, the Ephs could not close out the Blue as their offensive execution deteriorated, and they fell 25-13 in the fourth set. In the tiebreaker set, Wellesley earned the 3-2 match victory with a 15-8 set win.

Outside hitter Claire Miller ’15 netted a team-high 11 kills in the match. Baratta and Doll each contributed eight kills in the effort.

According to Head Coach Christi Kelsey, the match was a hard-fought effort that saw positive developments for the Ephs. “It was a tough one,” she said. “We did a lot of great things but just came up short.”

The team then traveled across town to take on NESCAC rival Tufts at Smith later on Saturday. On Sept. 17, the Ephs fell to the Jumbos 3-1, and the women came in to the match looking to redeem their loss. Williams continued its solid play up front, as Miller notched 11 kills and middle blocker Callie Kiernan ’15 added eight. Despite these efforts, the team ultimately fell in straight sets, losing 25-16, 25-22 and 27-25.

Rasmussen was named to the All-Tournament team for her performance. Kelsey commended Rasmussen for her consistent presence throughout the season and over the tournament, with strong showings in all three games.

Williams will take on rival Amherst on Friday before finishing the regular season against defending conference champion Middlebury on Saturday. Both matches will take place at Amherst. The Ephs have clinched a spot in the NESCAC tournament but will look to improve their seeding in the final week of the regular season. If Williams defeats Amherst on Friday, it will capture its first Little Three title in volleyball since 2006.

“There’s always a rivalry there [with Amherst],” Kelsey said. “We’re excited about the opportunity. We just have to continue to get better and see what we’re capable of.”

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