Volleyball (11-1, 2-0 in the NESCAC) went undefeated last weekend in its first home contests of the season. On Friday, the women easily defeated Bates 3-0. They followed up that performance with a hard-fought 3-2 win over Bowdoin before demolishing Western New England 3-0 in their afternoon matchup.
The women started quickly against Western New England, taking the first set 25-17. In the second set, Williams jumped out to a 14-2 lead before Western New England got a foothold. The Ephs went on to win the second set 25-12 and then played consistently in the third to win 25-19 and wrap up a 3-0 victory.
In the match, Tori Jasuta ’17 recorded 14 kills and 14 digs, while Raea Rasmussen ’15 notched nine kills. Ryan Farley ’16 had a team-leading 34 assists.
Earlier in the day, the women battled for a 3-2 win against Bowdoin. In the first set, the Polar Bears started strongly, working up a 17-10 lead. The Ephs then won five straight points to narrow the deficit to two. The score reached 18-18, and neither team could get two points clear to finish off the set until Bowdoin finally prevailed 31-29.
The teams remained even at the start of the second set, with the score soon locked at 16-16. Once more, the Polar Bears and Ephs battled beyond the regulation 25 points. However, this time Williams came out on top, taking the second set 30-28 and evening the match score 1-1.
Bowdoin ran away with the third set to take a 2-1 advantage. The Polar Bears started quickly and soon found themselves up 6-1. They continued their dominant play to finally win the game 25-13. The Ephs used the defeat in the third set as motivation, and strong offensive play combined with a defensive prowess guided the women to a 25-14 victory to once again level the score.
At the start of the fifth set, the Ephs worked up a small lead, but soon the Polar Bears bounced back to tie the score at 6-6. The run of play went back and forth before Williams won a crucial point to make the score 10-8. The tides turned in their favor, as the women dominated the remaining points, eventually taking the decisive set 15-9.
Once again, Jasuta led the team in kills, recording 23, while captain Emily Doll ’14 had 15. On defense, Jasuta also notched 18 digs, while libero Mandy Schott ’15 had 15. Farley’s 54 assists helped the Ephs earn a hard-fought victory.
On Friday night, the women opened their NESCAC season against Bates. The Ephs dominated the match from start to finish, needing just three sets to take down the Bobcats. Williams started well and took the first set 25-8. In the second set, Bates put up a fight and didn’t allow the women to pull away as they had in the first set. The Ephs proved steady, however, widening the lead at the end of the set for a 25-18 win. The women played consistently in the third set, never allowing Bates to make a comeback. They easily took the set 25-15 for their first NESCAC win of the season.
Jasuta and Doll both recorded eight kills, and Rasmussen notched six kills for a percentage of .667. Schott had 12 digs, while Farley had 30 assists for the Ephs.
“Overall, I thought this past weekend was a great way for us to open our NESCAC conference matches,” Head Coach Christi Kelsey said. “Bates is a solid, up-and-coming team in the conference and Bowdoin made for one of the toughest physical and mental battles for us to date. I am proud of our team for rising up to the challenge on Saturday and coming from behind to pull off a fantastic five-set victory.”
Up next, the women take on rival Amherst on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in Chandler Gym. After the weekend off, Williams then hosts Union on Tuesday at 7 p.m.