Poughkeepsie, NY –– The Ephs (0-1) started off their 2017 season on the road in a Wednesday night matchup against the Vassar College Brewers (3-2). Last season, the Ephs had an action-packed schedule and finished 13-11 overall and 6-4 in the NESCAC.
This season, the Ephs are excited to welcome five first-years to the team. Ariana Altieri, Anna Wise, Allison Frison, Alicia Blanco and Lauren Barry. This season is also unique for the team because the Ephs have no team captains and no senior players. The Ephs have been working hard in Chandler gym during preseason and are looking forward to the start of another stellar season.
The starters for the Ephs were sophomore setter Alex Newton, sophomores Natalie Albright and Daiana Takashima, first-year Ariana Altieri, and juniors Tess Richman and Mia Weinland. Vassar took the first point with a kill from the outside. The Ephs were up 3-2 with a kill from Ostrow. First year Allison Frison was subbed-in at 6-3. At 7-4, Tess Richman got a kill. First-year Ariana Altieri recorded a kill at 8-5 as the Ephs lead began to grow. Junior Mia Weinland entered for the Ephs at 10-8. Vassar rallied back to take the lead at 12-10 as the Ephs shook off some early jitters. Williams took their first timeout of the match down by three at 13-10.
Back from the timeout, Vassar continued to push ahead. Weinland earned a kill with the Ephs down by six at 20-14. Vassar took the first set 25-19.
To start the second set, Vassar took a quick lead up 4-0. The Ephs rallied back after a kill from Ostrow at 4-2. Ostrow recorded another hit with the Ephs down 7-4. First-year Allison Frison entered at 7-5 as the Ephs narrowed their deficit. Setter Alex Newton dumped the ball to earn a kill down by one at 7-8. Vassar took a timeout with the Ephs taking the lead at 9-8.
Back from the timeout, the Ephs were neck-and-neck with the host team. Up by one at 16-15, Tess Richman earned a kill for the Ephs. Tied at 19-19, Erin Dunham earned a kill for the Ephs. Williams called a timeout with Vassar holding the lead at 21-19. Back from the timeout Vassar maintained the lead up 23-19. The Ephs called another timeout hoping to shift the momentum. Vassar took home the second set 25-20.
The third set began with Vassar taking the lead at 5-2. Down by three at 12-9, Mia Weinland earned a kill. The Ephs were able to climb back and tie things up at 15-15 after an ace by Ally Ostrow. Both teams showcased their offensive skills with multiple kills from both sides. Williams took a timeout with the score tied at 22-22. Mia Weinland got a kill tied at 23-23. At 24-24, Vassar called a timeout. Both teams were hoping to grab two consecutive points in order to capture the set. Ultimately, Vassar took home the third set at 27-25 after multiple kills. Vassar swept the Ephs with the set scores 25-19, 25-20 and 27-25.
Head Coach Christi Kelsey is looking forward to another exciting season. This year marks her ninth season as head coach of the Ephs.
Coach Kelsey remarked on tonight's match when she explained, "Tonight there were definitely some good things that we saw to build off of and we are excited for the opportunity play again this weekend. It's good to get opening night out of the way and we're still really excited to see how we make progress moving forward."
The Ephs have a busy week ahead of them. The team is on the road at the Union Invitational at Union College in Schenectady, New York on Friday and Saturday. They play host Union at 11:00AM and Stevens at 6:00PM on Friday. On Saturday, the Ephs face off against Skidmore at 9:00AM and SUNY Oneonta at 1:00PM. The Ephs have their first home game in Chandler on September 15th against NESCAC opponent Wesleyan (Conn.) at 8:00PM.