Volleyball (4-1, 0-0 in the NESCAC) enjoyed a tournament of success last weekend at the Union Invitational in Schenectady, N.Y. Fresh off of their first season win against Vassar last Wednesday, the women continued their momentum with a win against SUNY Cortland to open the invitational.
The Ephs won the first set 25-19, the second set 25-21 and the third set 25-17. Ally Ostrow ’19 and tri-captain Catherine Egan ’16 led the Ephs with eight kills each. Tori Jasuta ’17 and Caitie Bennell ’17 each contributed 11 digs and tri-captain setter Ryan Farley ’16 notched 32 assists.
Unfortunately, the women next battled Union in an intense five-set match, which ended in a close loss.
The Ephs lost the first set with a final score of 25-20. The match began with starters Egan, Ostrow, Bennell, Farley, Roxi Corbell ’19, Anna Spellman ’17 and tri-captain Katherine Lane ’16. Spellman confidently gave Williams its first kill of the match making the score 2-3. The game experienced multiple lead changes and ties. Williams took at timeout after Union pushed ahead to lead by three points at 17-20.
Williams won the second set confidently with a final score of 25-14. Corbell got the first kill of the set for the Ephs with a dynamic assist from Farley. At 6-6, Head Coach Kristi Kelsey subbed Jasuta in for Spellman. Jasuta, reigning back-to-back All-NESCAC Volleyball player of the year, has been recovering from shoulder surgery that she received in the off-season but showed vigor on the court. Union took a time out at 19-11 after an impressive run by the women that included a kill by Corbell followed by back-to-back aces by Farley. The match point was another strong kill by Spellman with a final score of 25-14.
Despite losing the first four match points, the Ephs came back strong, beginning with a kill from Spellman to put the score at 2-6. Jasuta was subbed in for Spellman at 4-9, as was Morgan Richman ’19 for Corbell at 3-8. The women regained the lead, but after being tied at 14-14, Union pushed ahead. With multiple lead changes the Ephs took the lead at 22-21 with a kill from Lane and set by Farley. With the match tied at 24-24 the teams continued battling to win by two. Union won the match 26-24 after a kill from Union followed a call from the referee for a bad set by Farley.
The fourth set proved very competitive with both teams controlling the pace of the game at different times. Ultimately, the Ephs came out victorious, winning 25-16. The fifth set was a competitive match ending in a close loss with the final score 15-9.
On Saturday, volleyball defeated both SUNY Oneonta and Skidmore in three sets. Against SUNY Oneonta, Ostrow had two kills to put the women up 11-8 early. When the women went up 23-21, Oneonta took a timeout. Bennell was up to serve and confidently played in the ball following the break in gameplay. The Ephs won the first set 25-21 and the second set 25-20. The third set was confidently won on a match point kill from Shelby Fisher ’18. The women also made quick work of Skidmore in an easy three-set match.
During the first set, Funmi Adejobi ’17 served and recorded an ace to put the Ephs up 8-4. When the women were up 13-8, Skidmore went on a run and the women took a strategic time out at 15-14. Following the time out, Corbell had a dynamic kill by finding a hole in Skidmore’s defense. The Ephs won the first set 25-18.
The second set began with a cross-court kill by Ostrow. To put the Ephs up 6-4, Mia Weinland ’19 notched a kill. The Ephs won the second set with a final score of 25-20.
The third set began with kills by Adejobi and Fisher. The Ephs gained an early, large lead with a score of 14-3. The Ephs won the set 25-9.
“Every time we stepped on the court this weekend we got better,” Egan said. “We took opportunities to improve our consistency, our team chemistry and skill execution and emerged with strong momentum for a great week of practice before an exciting first NESCAC weekend in Chandler.”
This weekend marks volleyball’s first home game and the start of conference play as they face off against Tufts on Friday at 7 p.m. in Chandler Gymnasium and Conn. College on Saturday at 2 p.m., also in Chandler.