Volleyball drops first three games, sweeps doubleheader on final day of Union Invite

Volleyball (2–3) played five games in its opening week of the season. The women dropped their first three games but rebounded to defeat Skidmore and SUNY Oneonta on Saturday.

The Ephs played a doubleheader on Friday, the first day of the Union Invitational. The women played host Union in the first game and Stevens in the second.

The women played a contentious five-set match against Union. The Ephs took the first set 27-25 and carried their momentum into the second, winning 25-21. However, the Dutchwomen rallied in the third set and won 25-19. Union then won the fourth set 25-18 to force a deciding fifth set. The Ephs came up short again, and the Dutchwomen won the final set 15-13.

Ally Ostrow ’19 had a solid hitting percentage of .300 with 16 kills. Tess Richman ’19 also displayed aggressive offense with eight kills.

Seeking to bounce back from the loss in the first match, the women faced Stevens next. However, the Ducks came out strong and were able to win in three sets. The set scores were 25-12, 25-21 and 25-17. Erin Denham ’20 had 35 total attacks and 10 successful kills in the match.

The women had a strong second day, beating Skidmore and SUNY Oneonta.

Saturday began with an early morning matchup against Skidmore. The women maintained strong defense and aggressive offensive, sweeping Skidmore by a scoreline of 25-18, 25-13, 25-21.

Setter Alex Newton ’20 recorded a hitting percentage of .667 with four kills on six total attacks. Newton also showcased strong defensive skills and recorded 11 digs.

The Skidmore match energized the women as they went into their second match of the doubleheader against SUNY  Oneonta.

The Ephs took the first set 25-17, but the Red Dragons took control of the second set, winning 25-13. The third set featured a decisive change in momentum, and the women won 25-20. They won the final set 25-19 to seal the match. Denham had a hitting percentage of .345 with 13 kills.

“We were pleased with the adjustments our team made and the competitive mentality that the players brought to the floor,” Head Coach Christi Kelsey said. “We had great energy from both the players on the court at any given moment, as well as an enthusiastic and supportive bench.”

The women opened their season last Wednesday with a road loss to Vassar.

In the first set, Vassar rallied from a three-point deficit to win 25-19. The Brewers jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead in the second, The two teams traded points, and the score was eventually tied at 19. However, Vassar won the next four points and took the second set 25-20.

The third set went back and forth, but the Brewers secured the sweep with a 27-25 set win.

This year’s team is young, with five first-years but no seniors or captains. Head Coach Christi Kelsey said that the team is still adjusting but that its play has been encouraging.

“We were proud of all 14 players for the contributions that they made last weekend in helping our team get better not only from point to point but from match to match,” she said. “We’re really excited to see how we make progress moving forward.

The women play their first home match on Friday at 8 p.m., against Wesleyan.