Volleyball falters at Hall of Fame tournament, salvages 20th win

Last weekend found volleyball (20-4, 8-0 in the NESCAC) in South Hadley, Mass., at the Hall of Fame Tournament co-hosted by Smith and Mount Holyoke. The women played three games in two days, facing Wellesley, MIT and Springfield. On Friday, Williams lost a close match to Springfield 3-2, despite having several chances to win. Against MIT on Saturday, the women also came up just short, again falling 3-2, but they rebounded with a commanding 3-0 victory over Wellesley later that day. Although exiting the tournament with a 1-2 record may not been the result the Ephs had hoped for, their dominating win over Wellesley helped offset two well-fought losses.

The first match of the weekend for Williams was against Springfield on Friday evening. Williams won the first set 25-21 yet lost momentum for the second set, losing 25-19. The Ephs came back in the third set, winning 25-21, yet missed their chance to finish the match in the fourth set. The fourth set was close, with Springfield winning 30-28; Williams was unable to secure the win due to serving errors. The fifth set started out with Springfield leading 8-7, and although the women took a timeout to reevaluate the set, Springfield scored the last four points to win 15-11.

On the night, captain Emily Doll ’14 had 19 kills, while Tori Jasuta ’17 had 15. Both Doll and Jasuta also had 17 digs each. Catie Bennell ’17 had 14 digs as well. Ryan Farley ’16 had 55 assists.

Saturday was the second day of competition for Williams, as the women woke up to face MIT and Wellesley. Unfortunately, the match against MIT followed a similar suit to Springfield: five sets and ultimately a loss. As in the match against Springfield, the women found themselves making uncharacteristic errors. Although MIT won the first set 25-19, Williams came back to win the second set 25-16 and the third set 25-15. However, the women could not maintain momentum, losing the fourth set by a narrow margin of 25-22 and the fifth and final set 15-12. Jasuta and Doll both had 13 kills against the Engineers, and Farley had 39 assists. Raea Rasmussen ’15 led the team with seven blocks.

“Today was certainly an up-and-down day for our team,” Head Coach Christi Kelsey said. “The MIT match was a tough one, as we made a lot of mistakes and couldn’t quite find our rhythm throughout the match.”

The second match of the day, and the third match of the weekend, was a consolation for the Ephs. Williams took the game from Wellesley in three straight and short sets. The women won the first set easily by a score of 25-13. The Ephs won the second set 25-16, and they won the third by the same score to seal the 3-0 victory. Jasuta led the team both on offense and defense, recording 10 kills and 10 digs. Farley had 25 assists. Catherine Egan ’16 led the team in blocks, with five.

“I think our team really took it to heart losing two matches [last] weekend and wanted to come out with a win against one of the top teams in our region,” Kelsey said.

The tournament also ended on a high note, as Doll received All-Tournament honors. Williams also notched its first 20-win season since 2009 with the win against Wellesley.

Jasuta is currently 20th in the Div. III rankings for kills per set, with 4.01. Rasmussen ranks first in hitting percentage, boasting a .446 average, while Farley is now 14th in assists per set, with 10.47

On Friday, the women will travel to Trinity for an 8 p.m. match. It is their penultimate match of the season before they play Wesleyan on Saturday at 2 p.m. to conclude the regular season NESCAC competitions. Williams is currently on top of the conference standings with a perfect 8-0 NESCAC record and a 20-4 overall record. Bowdoin stands second in the NESCAC with a 7-1 record and a 20-5 overall compilation.

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