Volleyball eliminated in conference quarters

Volleyball (16-13, 5-5 in the NESCAC) finished its season with a hard-fought 3-2 loss to Tufts in the NESCAC quarterfinals at Bowdoin last Saturday. Despite a late comeback, the seventh-seeded Ephs were unable to topple the second-seeded Jumbos and were eliminated from the conference tournament. 

Williams fell behind early in the match, as Tufts raced to a 25-10 victory in the first set. Williams managed only seven kills while committing four errors as a team.

Tufts stormed to a two-set lead with a 25-14 victory in the second set. The Jumbos built off their momentum in the second set, hammering 10 kills and committing only three errors. The Ephs could not muster enough offense to best the Jumbos, recording a hitting percentage of just .042 and tallying seven kills and six errors.

Williams refused to exit quietly, however, and in the third set the women muscled to a 25-23 win. The Ephs’ hitting percentage increased to .211, while the Jumbos’ percentage slipped to .055.

“The third set was close in the early points. We got a little momentum at the end and that was just enough to carry us through,” Head Coach Christi Kelsey said.

The women  claimed the fourth set on the strength of their service game. The team had seven service aces in the set, with Holly Harper ’15 leading the way with four of her own. Meanwhile, the Ephs had 11 kills and only five errors in the set, earning a 25-16 victory to knot the match at 2-2.

The Jumbos limited the Ephs in the fifth and deciding set, however. Despite working to a 10-10 tie midway through the set, Williams had a set hitting percentage of just .130, earning five kills and making two errors. Tufts earned the final edge with a 15-10 victory, taking the match 3-2.

Emily Doll ’14 led the Ephs in hitting percentage, earning a .438 percentage. Claire Miller ’15 had a team-leading 19 blocks in the match for Williams. Amanda Schott ’15 fired up the women’s offense, recording 37 aces in the match. Emily Baratta ’14 turned in 13 kills in the match, leading the women in their attempt to battle back. Tufts managed nine blocks, while Williams recorded seven.

“I was extremely proud of our team for the mental toughness we showed in fighting back against Tufts,” Kelsey said.

The young team will graduate one senior, co-captain and libero Aly McKinnon ’12. “Aly has been a rock for our team this entire season. It’s tough being the only senior, but she has certainly left her mark on Williams volleyball,” Kelsey said. “She has grown as both a player and leader over the past few seasons. We are extremely thankful for all Aly has done for the program and she will for sure be missed next year.”

The 3-2 loss in the quarterfinals eliminated Williams from the NESCAC tournament and ended its season.

“We have been able to learn and grow together over the past few months and I am extremely optimistic about our potential for next season,” Kelsey said.

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