Williamstown, MA –– Back at home after three weeks on the road, the Ephs (8-9, 4-4 in NESCAC) were looking forward to a NESCAC match-up against NESCAC opponent Trinity College (6-9, 0-7 in NESCAC). The starters for the Ephs were Alex Newton, Ally Ostrow, Natalie Albright, Erin Denham, Tess Richman, Roxi Corbeil, and libero Daiana Takashima.
The energy in Chandler Gym was electric as the Ephs prepared for the first set. The Ephs took an early lead up 3-0 with Newton showcasing quick serves. At 4-2, Allison Frison entered to serve for the Ephs. The Trinity College Bantams responded with a strong kill from the middle to narrow the deficit to one down 5-4. Corbeil had a fast middle kill to maintain the lead at 6-4 that had the crowd cheering for the Ephs. Morgan Richman entered to serve at 7-5. Ostrow had a kill from the outside to line up 8-6. Takashima had a strong dig up 10-8 that kept the ball in place and lead to another point for the Ephs. Trinity tied things up at 11-11 after strong attacking.
The Ephs had strong communication to take the edge at 13-12 after a long rally. Up 15-12, the Bantams called a timeout. Back on the court at 16-13, Denham had a big kill to line from the outside. At 18-16, Tess Richman and Newton teamed up for a block on the outside hitter. Trinity responded with a quick tip to the center of the court. Trinity called another timeout at 21-17. Back from the timeout, the Ephs had to power through the end of the first set. With a skilled hit from the outside, Denham earned a point for the Ephs. Newton tipped the ball for a point at 23-18. Denham powered through the block with an attack to put the Ephs at match point. The Ephs won the first set 25-19 after a violation from Trinity.
The second set started off with high energy from the Ephs. At 2-0, Albright and Corbeil teamed up for a block on the Trinity outside hitter. The Ephs maintained the early edge at 4-1 after a strong serve by Albright. At 6-3, Tess Richman got a quick kill from the middle. Ostrow served at 8-3 to set up Denham for the kill. Trinity called a timeout to talk things over down by five.
Back from the timeout, the Ephs maintained their energy in the second set. Denham tipped from the outside and Trinity responded with a tip but ultimately Williams took home the point after Denham blocked a tip from the Bantams. At 10-4, Tess Richman powered through the Trinity block and earned a kill. Up 13-4, Trinity called another timeout to talk things over. With the ball back in play, the Ephs hoped to maintain their steady lead. Up 17-6, Denham earned a kill from the outside. At 21-8, Newton tipped into the middle of the Bantam's court. Ostrow had a kill to line to maintain the lead. Morgan Richman entered to serve at 22-9. After a strong serve from Ostrow, Denham tipped the ball to win the second set 25-10.
The third set started off strong for the Ephs. Alison Frison entered to serve for the Ephs at 3-1. Albright got a kill but Trinity responded with a kill from the outside hitter. Up 8-3, Morgan Richman entered to serve for the Ephs. Tess Richman had a strong middle hit off of a free ball from Trinity but Trinity took home the point. At 11-6, Denham switched things up and got a point off a short cross-court shot. Newton decided on a kill instead of her usual strong sets to continue to throw curve balls and earned another point. After an ace by Takashima at 14-6, Trinity decided to take a timeout.
Back from the timeout, Takashima continued with strong serving. Newton had a strong jump serve to maintain the Ephs lead at 17-7. Corbeil had a big kill from the right side as the Ephs pushed forward late in the third set. Newton got a kill at 19-7, and Trinity called another timeout.
Back on the court, Corbeil had a strong hit from the right pin but Trinity couldn't respond. Denham hit through the Bantams block at 21-7. Trinity went on a late run after multiple attack errors by the Ephs. In a long rally, Newton got the point after a quick tip from the middle to but the Ephs at match point. Ultimately, the Ephs took the third and final set 25-13 with the set scores 25-19, 25-10, and 25-13.
Head Coach of the Ephs Christi Kelsey remarked on today's match. She explained, "Honestly, this was by far the most complete match we have played thus far this season. I am so proud of so many things that our team did well not only with the folks who were playing in the game on the court at any given point in time but also the incredible support and enthusiasm that the players on the bench showed as well."
Coach Kelsey added, "There was so much great chemistry and team connection across all 14 of our players this evening and it showed in how we executed on court. Most importantly across the board we play with confidence and we look like we were having genuinely having a lot of fun!"
Coach Kelsey also explained that the team was looking forward to tomorrow's match against rival Amherst. She noted, "Trinity had a lot of great athletic pieces and was a good match up for us tonight. Tomorrow will be another opportunity for us to play against a strong NESCAC team in Amherst!" The Ephs play Amherst (11-7, 2-4 in NESCAC) at 1:00PM in Chandler.