Volleyball falls to Amherst, Clarkson

September 28, 2016 by Elizabeth Sullivan, Staff Writer

Volleyball (4–6, 1–2 in NESCAC) finished 0–2 last Saturday  afternoon at the Clarkson University Invitational.

The women began the day with a 2:00 p.m. match against Rochester, which they lost in three sets (23–25, 13–25, 20–25).Williams then played a 6:00 p.m. against host team Clarkson, which swept the Ephs in three sets (25–21, 25–14, 25–14). These losses came after the women lost to Amherst on Friday 3–2.

The starters for the match on Friday were Ally Ostrow ’19, Morgan Richman ’19, Roxi Corbeil ’19, Tori Jasuta ’17, Natalie Albright ’20 as well setter Alex Newton ’20 and libero Catie Benell ’17.

With play going back and forth, Williams won the first set 25–18 and Amherst won the second set 25–17. The third set was a back and forth battle with many lead changes throughout the set. Williams took home the third set in a close win 25–23.

The Ephs hoped to clinch the fourth set while they were up two sets to one. However, Amherst had other plans and went on a 5–0 run that included strong serving and offensive plays.

The deficit between the two teams narrowed, and the Ephs called a timeout when they were down 5–10. Amherst continued its run and Williams called a timeout down 5–15. The Ephs suffered from many attack errors during the fourth set which led to the loss of the set. Additionally, Amherst served consistently and earned multiple service aces. Amherst won the fourth set 25–10 with a double block by Amherst at match point.

The fifth set was winner take all. Amherst took an early lead at 3–0 after attack errors by the women. Amherst’s strong offensive hitters helped the team push forward as it ultimately won the decisive fifth set 15–10. After a grueling five–set battle, the Ephs lost (25–18, 17–25, 25–23, 10–25, 10–15). This match marked Amherst’s first victory over Williams since the 2012 regular season when Amherst won in four sets at Amherst. This loss ended a six-match streak for the Ephs.

Last season, the women beat Amherst during the regular season in a four-set home game (17–25, 25–13, 25–16, 25–22). Additionally, Williams and Amherst met again during the 2015 postseason with Williams emerging victorious in the NESCAC Quarterfinals.

Amherst has won three conference titles (1999, 2000, 2006) and has finished as the runner-up three times (2002, 2007, 2008), with all three losses coming at the hands of Williams.

Next, the women faced Rochester and Clarkson at the Clarkson Invitational. Clarkson entered the match with a record of 9–4 overall, winners of six of their last seven games. Williams last played Clarkson in 2014 and lost the match in five sets.

Although the first set was closely contested with a score of 25–23, the second set was less close. An early lead by Clarkson gave the team enough momentum to sweep Williams three sets to none (25–21, 25–14, 25–14).

“We had some tough losses this weekend against some beatable teams,” Jasuta said. “We’re committed to the idea that we will get better every day at our practices and games and there were definitely flashes of brilliance this weekend that showed that progress. We play our best when we’re playing for the fun of the game. We are working on our confidence as players and as a team and aiming for three big wins this weekend at home.”

Looking ahead, the women will return home to face off against the Bobcats of Bates this Friday at 8:00 p.m. The women will also compete in a double header at home against Endicott and New Paltz State on Saturday at 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

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