Volleyball rockets to twelfth straight victory

Emily O’Day ’15 tallied four spikes and three assists on Saturday. -Photo Courtesy of Sports Information
Emily O’Day ’15 tallied four spikes and three assists on Saturday. -Photo Courtesy of Sports Information

It might be lonely at the top, but volleyball (15-1 overall, 5-0 in the NESCAC) is happy to be there. Last week, the Ephs added two more NESCAC wins to their record. Against Conn. College on Saturday, Williams dominated, this time pulling off a 3-1 victory. On Friday night, the women made short work of their Tufts opponents, downing them in straight sets 3-0.  Against Union on Oct. 1, the women easily won 3-0.

The Ephs faced their second match of the weekend on Saturday against Conn. College. The women put forth a strong showing in the first set, keeping a consistent lead and finishing ahead 25-15. At one point in the second set, the Camels pushed their way to within three points of the Ephs. However, after a brief time out, the women charged back onto the court and finished the set 25-16. The third set was the lone set that the Ephs lost all weekend. The women lost by a small margin of just three points at 25-22. However, they gained redemption in the fourth set and pulled ahead ferociously, finishing the match with an impressive final set score of 25-12.

On the day, Tori Jasuta ’17 and captain Emily Doll ’14 both had 13 kills. Ryan Farley ’16 had 39 assists. Jasuta also lead the team in digs with 13.

“Today was a good challenge for our team to try and put together two solid matches back to back,” Head Coach Christi Kelsey said. “I was proud that our team regrouped to come out and control the fourth set to close out the match.”

The first match of the weekend took place on Friday night against Tufts, a home game for the women. Going into the contest, both teams were undefeated, and both were prepared to walk away victorious. Although the Jumbos put up a good fight, they could not outscore the Ephs. Tufts went on a run in the middle of the first set, but Williams recovered and finished it by a score of 25-20.

The second set was more combative between the two teams. The teams alternated back and forth, both fighting for control before two kills from Jasuta allowed Williams to take the lead. Points contributed from Jasuta, Doll and Katherine Lane ’16 kept Williams ahead through the end of the second set, which finished 25-19 in the women’s favor. The third and final set of the game started with an ace from Farley, and Williams surged ahead to a 10-6 lead. The Jumbos fought back, knotting the score at 10 before the Ephs managed to gain control of the set. However, Tufts tied the contest again at 20-20, but Raea Rasmussen ’15 and Anna Spellman ’17 contributed a kill and a block, respectively, to propel the Ephs to a 25-20 lead.

“This was by far our most consistent match of the year for our team,” Kelsey said. “Tufts is talented and very athletic, so we had to raise our game up another notch. I’m proud of coming out with a hard fought win.”

The Tufts match also cemented some impressive individual stats for members of the team. While Williams is currently ranked 25th in Div. III, three members of the team are also personally ranked. Jasuta is ranked 33rd in Div. III for kills per set (3.93), Farley is 14th in Div. III in assists per set (10.3) and Rasmussen is first in Div. III for hitting percentage (.465).

Against Union on Oct. 1, the women came out firing on all cylinders in the first set, jumping out to a quick lead. However, Union tied the score at 5-5. With the score at 11-10, the women went on a 10-point streak to bring the score to 21-10. The set ended 21-10 in favor of the Ephs. The second set started evenly matched, with the scores knotted at 9-9. Then, the women went on another run to bring the score to 18-13. A few key kills put the set to bed at 25-19. The Ephs fell behind in the third set, but they battled back to bring the score to 10-7. The game remained level throughout the final set, but the women fought to take the set, 25-22 and the match 3-0.

With the three wins last week, the Ephs now extend their winning streak to 12. The women travel to SUNY New Paltz today for a 7 p.m. match. The women are on the road again this weekend, taking on NESCAC foes Hamilton at 8 p.m. on Friday and Middlebury at 3 p.m. on Saturday. On Tuesday, the women host Southern Vermont at 7 p.m. in Chandler Gym.