Volleyball (12–9, 5–3 in the NESCAC) toppled Springfield and Babson after losing to MIT at the New England Challenge, hosted by MIT.
Against Babson, the starters for the Ephs were Ally Ostrow ’19, Natalie Albright ’20, co-captain Tori Jasuta ’17, Morgan Richman ’19, Daiana Takashima ’20 and libero co-captain Caitie Benell ’17. Williams took an early lead up 3–0 after multiple attack errors by Babson. Babson then regained the lead and went up 8–3. After a Williams timeout, Jasuta returned with a kill from the outside. After kills from both sides, Alex Newton ’20 had back-to-back service aces to narrow the deficit at 17–15.
Back on the court, Jasuta got an outside kill at 19–16. Ostrow had a kill at Babson’s match point. Williams had nerves of steel and went on a big run at match point. Jasuta had three kills in a row with the help of technical setting by Newton. Ostrow had a service ace tied up at 24–24 and Jasuta had an outside kill to take the lead. Tied up again at 26–26 with a kill by Jasuta, both teams were hoping to take the win with the next two points. Ultimately, Babson took the edge and won the first set 29–27.
Williams took a large lead early in the second set up 5–0 after strong attacks by Jasuta and Ostrow. The Ephs steadily increased their lead with the help of two service aces by Jasuta to set the score at 12–3. Newton switched up her role and got a kill with a strong dig by Ostrow. Jasuta had another service ace to put the Ephs at match point. Corbeil took home the win with a kill from the right side at 25–11.
With one set apiece, both teams were looking to take a decisive third set. The set began with a tie at 4–4 as both teams shook off early nerves with attacking errors. Babson took the lead at 12–8 with the help of multiple service aces. The Ephs soon narrowed the deficit to tie at 12–12. Down at 18–15, Corbeil got a kill. Benell had back-to-back service aces to narrow the deficit to one. Albright had a middle kill to tie at 20–20.
Up 24–23, Jasuta had an outside kill to give the Ephs the edge. Tied at 24–24, the Ephs pushed the next two points with kills by Jasuta and Corbeil and won the third set 26–24.
The fourth set started with both teams exchanging kills. Up 5–2, Jasuta had a strong outside kill. Benell had a service ace up 8–4. Benell had an assist to give Corbeil the kill to add a point. At 10–6, Albright got a middle kill. After strong blocking by Babson, the teams were tied at 10–10. Williams called a timeout down 11–10. Albright had a service ace to take the lead at 12–11.
Babson called a timeout with the women holding onto the lead at 15–12. Corbeil dominated at the net with multiple kills from the right pin to maintain the lead. Babson called a timeout down by five at 20–15. Ultimately, Babson couldn’t hang on and the Eph women won the fourth and final set 25–18.
The women maintained their energy to defeat Springfield in the afternoon in three straight sets (27–25, 25–20, 25–19) and put an end to Springfield’s 16 game win streak.
In the first game, Springfield called a timeout down by six at 18–12. Back on the court, Springfield went on a run to tie at 21–21 with the help of strong blockers. After ties at 22–22, 23–23 and 24–24, Corbeil gave the Ephs the edge at 25–24. Ostrow finished off the set with a kill and a service ace to win the first set 27–25. The second set began with multiple lead changes. Williams pushed ahead late in the second set after being tied at 18–18. Back on the court, Jasuta had an outside kill. A kill by Richman ended the game as the Ephs won 25–20. Williams maintained a significant lead during the third set. Corbeil had many strong kills from the right side to help the Ephs. Ostrow had consecutive kills at 10–5 and 11–5. Jasuta had big outside kills at 14–9 and 15–9. Ultimately, the women swept Springfield to win the third and final set 25–19 with the set scores 27–25, 25–20, 25–19.
“For this past weekend at the New England Challenge, we played some of our best volleyball yet this season,” Head Coach Christi Kelsey said. “We had three physically demanding matches against some of the top teams in our region this year. To emerge from the weekend with a 2–1 record is a big step for us in terms of our consistency and team growth, especially with two strong teams coming up to close out our regular season conference matches this weekend. We still have work to do to keep improving and getting better, but I continue to be incredibly proud of this team for their energy, work ethic and commitment to each other.
Williams has a busy conference schedule this weekend at home, playing Wesleyan on Friday night at 8 p.m. and Trinity on Saturday at 2 p.m.