Ephs drop NESCAC heartbreaker

Tri-captain Ryan Farley ’16 had 20 digs and a .062 kill percentage against Bowdoin on Saturday. Photo Courtesy of Sports Information
Tri-captain Ryan Farley ’16 had 20 digs and a .062 kill percentage against Bowdoin on Saturday. Photo Courtesy of Sports Information

Volleyball (14-6, 6-2 in the NESCAC) fell to NESCAC leader Bowdoin on Saturday in a close five-set match. Bowdoin is now the likely bid to host the NESCAC Tournament.

The Ephs started off strong with a middle block by tri-captain Katherine Lane ’16 at 2-1. Maintaining the lead at 5-4, Morgan Richman ’19 entered to serve. The energy between the two teams was off to a steady start until Bowdoin took the lead 8-6 after a strong block on an attack by Tori Jasuta ’17. The Polar Bears gained a two-point edge after the Ephs struggled to defend tips. Williams called the first timeout, down 13-10.

Bowdoin continued to tip and exploit the holes in the women’s defensive coverage. Jasuta ran a 32 from the outside to put the Ephs within five at 21-16. At match point, Bowdoin blocked an attack by Roxi Corbeil ’19 to take the set 25-18.

The second set began with a service ace by Jasuta at 2-1. Williams came out strong and quickly gained a two-point lead at 4-2. At 5-4, Corbeil had a cross-court kill from the right side. After a long rally, tri-captain Ryan Farley ’16 dumped the ball to center court instead of a traditional set to one of her hitters. Farley dumped the ball again with the Ephs up 8-7. Several points later, Jasuta and tri-captain Catherine Egan ’16 teamed up for a big block on the Bowdoin right side hitter.

Bowdoin continued to hold the momentum. Aly Ostrow ’19 put a stop to things with a kill from the outside at 16-15. Ostrow had another kill, this time to line, to tie at 17-17. Bowdoin maintained the lead and got a service ace uto go p 21-17. At match point, the Ephs had an attack error and the Polar Bears took the second set 25-18.

Williams began the third set optimistic after a booming kill from Jasuta. After a six to nothing run by the women, Bowdoin took its first timeout of the set. Back from the timeout, Farley had back-to-back service aces. At 10-1, Lane attacked fast and hard from the middle. At 13-4, Richman got a kill to line. After a free-ball kill by Egan painted the back line, Jasuta and Lane worked together for a double block on Bowdoin’s right side. At 17-9, Jasuta had a cross-court kill from the left pin. After athletic tip coverage by Jasuta, Ostrow earned a kill from the back row. Several more points were exchanged and with an attack error from Bowdoin, the Ephs secured the third set 25-15.

The fourth set began on a strong note with a service ace by Egan. The Ephs maintained their lead with a skillful block in the middle by Egan. Bowdoin called its first timeout of the set down 9-4. Williams worked hard with attacks from every front row hitter and an attack from setter Farley, but Jasuta had a a kill at 14-7. At 18-12, Lane had a kill in the middle after calling a one-ball. Williams continued to maintain its lead after a service ace by Jasuta at 21-13. After a four-point run by Bowdoin, Williams called its first timeout of the set at 23-18. An outside kill from Ostrow stole the Ephs the set 25-23.

The fifth set was winner-takes-all after the Ephs came back from being down two sets to none. Bowdoin took the lead 3-0. At 4-2, Richman had a kill from the right side. Down 6-3, Lane earned a middle kill. After the side chance at 8-5, Ostrow had a kill from the outside to narrow the deficit to two. Down 10-7, Williams called a timeout.

Back from the timeout, Egan got a kill after running a slide. A kill by Jasuta put the Ephs within one. The Ephs tied at 10-10. Bowdoin had strong blocking and attacking and edged ahead. Williams showed courage with big time defensive coverage by Farley and a kill by Jasuta. Richman earned a critical kill to put the Ephs within one. With the ball back in play for a final time, Bowdoin had a final kill to win the set and the game 15-13.

On Friday night, Williams took on University of Massachusetts at Boston at home. The Ephs won a tight match in four close sets, winning the first, losing the second and taking the final two for a victory.

“We made good adustments to both [Bowdoin and UMass Boston] and were proud of forcing Bowdoin to a fifth set,” said Egan. “However, we are looking to work on our consistency as we play some non-conference matches this weekend.”

The weekend of Oct. 9 to 10, Williams took to the road to play both Hamilton and Middlebury. The women continued to show their strength in the NESCAC, beating Middlebury in five sets, 3-2, on Oct. 10 and Hamilton 3-0 on Oct. 9.

On Oct. 6, the women beat New Paltz State 3-0 at home.

The women’s next game is away at Babson on Friday. The women then take on Wellesley and MIT on Saturday, also away games.

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