Volleyball battles to undefeated weekend

After falling in the NCAA Div. III Regional Final to in-state opponent University of Massachusetts at Boston a season ago, volleyball worked hard over the offseason to move past the loss and surpass the success of last year’s team. With the return of two ECAC All-New England players in Tori Jasuta ’17 and Ryan Farley ’16, as well as three AVCA All-Americans in Raea Rasmussen ’15, Jasuta and Farley, the team is more poised than ever to achieve its ultimate goal of winning a Div. III National Championship. The women opened their 2014 campaign with two dominating wins, beating both Wellesley and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy 3-0.

In their first match against Wellesley, the women dominated with a scoreline of 25-13, 25-14, 25-16. Jasuta and co-captain Claire Miller ’15 led the Ephs, each notching 14 points. Miller finished the match with 11 kills and two service aces, while Jasuta racked up 12 kills, 10 digs and two service aces. After starting out strong, the Ephs carried the energy throughout the match, overwhelming their competition.

Later that same day, the women faced off against Coast Guard, a formidable regional opponent. Once again, the women notched a 3-0 victory; however, Coast Guard did not go down without a fight. The Ephs garnered a 25-16, 25-15, 28-26 scoreline over the match. Consistent offensive and defensive play helped the women quickly go up two sets to none. In the third set, the Ephs were up 24-22 with a chance to win the match before the Bears scored two crucial points to tie the match at 24. The Ephs won six out of the eight remaining points scored in the match to hold on and defeat the Bears in a thriller of a third set to clinch the victory. Rasmussen helped lead the Ephs in the second game with eight and a half points, collecting 18 total attacking attempts and eight kills. Katherine Lane ’16 recorded 12.5 points with 10 kills and 14 total attacking attempts. Catherine Egan ’16 also greatly contributed to the victory, accumulating three blocks, five kills and 16 total attacking attempts. Leading the Eph attack, Farley made smart and decisive decisions for which she was named to the Brandeis Invitational All-Tournament team.

“We had a challenging preseason and it was great to see our hard work pay off to start the season,” Miller said. “Wellesley and Coast Guard are two strong teams in our region and those two victories give us some momentum for our mid-week game against Vassar and our tournament at UMass Boston this upcoming weekend.”

The women take on Vassar on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in their home opener at Chandler Gymnasium before traveling to the University of Massachusetts-Boston Invitational for an action packed four-game weekend.