Volleyball drops three straight, looks to rebound at Wesleyan

Mia Weinland ’19 had four spikes and eight kills in the women’s game against Wellesley on Saturday. Photo Credit / Sports Information
Mia Weinland ’19 had four spikes and eight kills in the women’s game against Wellesley on Saturday. Photo Credit / Sports Information

Volleyball (14-7, 6-2 in the NESCAC) traveled to eastern Massachusetts last weekend to play Babson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Wellesley. The women went to four or five sets with each team, but did not return home with a win.

On Saturday, Williams suffered two losses in non-conference play against Wellesley in five sets (26-28, 24-26, 25-17, 25-16, 11-15) and MIT in five sets (22-25, 21-25, 28-26, 26-24, 12-15).

Williams began the morning match against Wellesley down 5-0 in the first set. After kills by Roxy Corbeil ’19, Tori Jasuta ’17 and Aly Ostrow ’19, the Ephs were tied at 6-6. At 10-10, Ostrow got a service ace. Williams trailed by a margin of one or two points for the majority of the set. Up 20-19, Wellesley took a timeout after a kill by tri-captain Catherine Egan ’16. Back from the timeout, tri-captain Ryan Farley ’16 got a kill with an assist from Jasuta. Tied 23-23, Wellesley took a second timeout. At 26-25, Egan got a kill. After a kill by Wellesley and a block to enforce the win-by-two rule after 25 points, Wellesley took the set 28-26.

The second set involved a new line up. Mia Weinland ’19, Elizabeth Cromack ’18, Shelby Fisher ’18, Katherine Lane ’16, Egan, Farley and libero Caitie Bennel ’17 started for the Ephs. Both teams remained within one or two points of each other and had big kills and strong assists. Although Farley had an important kill at 24-23, the women did not hold on to their lead and Wellesley won the set 26-24 after a service ace and multiple attack errors by Williams.

The third set was a big shift in the momentum and the Ephs soon gained a large lead. Up 19-11, Wellesley called a timeout. At 22-14, Weinland got a kill from the outside with a set from Farley. After a service error at match point, Williams won the set 25-17. The fourth set was a back-and-forth battle. At 14-13, Jasuta had a service ace. Williams continued to push ahead and Fisher got a block up 20-15. Morgan Richman ’19 had a service ace at 22-15. Match point for the Ephs was a kill by Weinland to take the set 25-16. The game ended when Wellesley took the fifth set 15-11.

The second match of the day was against MIT. At 10-10, Lane got a kill in the middle. At 20-20, Williams called a timeout. Both teams played competitively, and the score was very close throughout the set. However, MIT pulled away at the last moment to win the first set 25-22. The second set had the Ephs trailing down 13-9 after a block by MIT. Despite a kill from Egan followed by a service ace from Richman at 24-21, MIT won the set 25-21.

The Ephs rallied from being down two sets to none and came back to win the third and fourth sets. The third set was tied at 24-24 after a kill from Corbeil. Match point was win-by-two and occurred at 28-26 with a kill by Fisher in the middle. Williams maintained nerves of steal in a critical fourth set. A true team effort, the Ephs won the fourth set 26-24. The Ephs came up short in the fifth set after working hard to even out the set score to 2-2. After strong blocking from MIT, Williams called a timeout down 6-2. The Ephs could not shift the momentum and took a timeout down 12-6. However, after the second timeout, the Ephs narrowed the deficit to 12-9 with Corbeil and Lane working together for a block at 12-8. However, MIT lead the final charge and, after multiple kills, won the set and the match 15-12.

Williams began the tournament against Babson on Friday night, losing in four sets (19-25, 26-24, 20-25, 22-25).  The women started strong after an attack error from Babson and a kill by Richman put them up 2-0 in the first set. However, Babson then went on a run and the game was neck-and-neck. The Beavers pulled ahead after multiple kills and the Ephs called a timeout, down 9-5. When the Ephs were down 10-6, Jasuta got a kill with a set from Farley. The Beavers went on another large run and the Ephs struggled to dig their attacks. Down 16-10, the Ephs called their second timeout.

Out of the timeout, Richman got multiple kills and the team tried to narrow the deficit. Down 19-16, Egan got a kill after an assist from Farley. At 22-19, Ostrow earned a kill from the outside. At match point, Babson got a service ace and won the set 25-19.

The second set started with a service ace from Farley. At 5-5, Richman and Egan teamed up for a block. Down 9-6, Babson called its first timeout of the match. Babson fought back hard and picked up the lead at 16-15. After multiple lead changes, Egan got a kill at 19-18. Tied 20-20, Farley got a kill with an assist from Benell. After kills by Ostrow and Jasuta, Williams was up by one. Babson called a timeout down 23-22. After multiple attack errors by Babson, the women won the second set 26-24.

Unfortunately, the tide turned for Williams after this set. Babson began to capitalize on Williams’ serving errors and despite taking several time-outs, Babson won the next two sets 25-20 and 25-22.

“This weekend was tough to go 0-3,” Lane said. “All were matches with a lot of ups and downs and certainly a lot of take aways that have the potential to be very valuable. What will be important this week is how we react to the outcomes of Friday and Saturday. But it is still a really exciting time because we have not fully hit our stride yet and there is more to come.”

The women will play away this weekend, at Wesleyan on Friday at 8 p.m. and at Trinity on Saturday at 2 p.m.

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