NCAA Division III Williamstown, Mass. Regional Women's Volleyball Tournament
Williamstown, Mass.—After edging past the Springfield Pride in yesterday's five-set match, this was the Ephs' 9th advancement to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament in the 20 years NESCAC has permitted NCAA post-season play.
In today's match, the Ephs went up against the UMass Boston Beacons for the first time this season. The Beacons, the defending New England region champions, made their fourth straight appearance in the New England Regional championship match.
The Beacon's win rose their season record to 24-15, having won their last six consecutive matches, and ended the Ephs' season at 27-5.
Today's match started heatedly in the first set with both teams going neck-and-neck, alternating between kills by Boston's Kristen Morrison and Bri Sousa and Williams' Claire Miller and Emily Doll. UMass Boston carried the lead until a few service errors gave Raea Rasmussen and Tori Jasuta the opportunity to tie up the score, 12-12, and the Beacons called a time out. The Ephs pushed ahead, thanks to blocks by Katherine Lane and Doll, and finally broke away after a series of kills by Doll and Jasuta. The Beacons called another time out at 20-18, Williams, but two more major blocks and kills by the Ephs won them the first set, 25-19.
The Ephs carried their momentum to the start of the second set, quickly gathering the first three points from Doll's kill, Emily O'Day's ace, and Doll's block. The Beacons retaliated, thanks to kills by Morrison and an ace by Christine DuPuis, setting the score at 9-5, Boston, pressuring the Ephs to call the first time out. Coming out of time out, Williams continued to trail behind, and despite kills by Rasmussen and Miller, Williams could not pick up balls hit by Boston's Megan Pollock and Amber Clemons. After a heavy hit by Beacon Morrison, the Ephs called their second time out, the score being 18-10, Beacons. UMass Boston kept up their heavy blows, setter Pollock handing Corrine Porter, Julia Murphy, and Clemons opportunities to win the second set, 25-16.
The Beacons and the Ephs battled at the net in the start of the third set, pushing a tied score to 7-7. Heavy kills by Beacons Clemons and Morrison pushed their score to 14-9, when the Ephs called their first time out. Jasuta and Lane fought back hard coming out of the time out, forcing the Beacons to call their own time out when the score reached 16-14, Beacons. A combo ace and kill by Boston's Porter pushed their score 18-14, but the Beacons called another time out after two consecutive errors. An overpass kill by Jasuta pushed the score 21-20, Boston, but kills by Murphy and Baker, and a service ace by libero Elizabeth Glavan won the Beacons their second set, 25-20.
Williams swung even harder in the fourth set, tying the score early on. The Ephs pushed their score, 3-2, until outside Jasuta was subbed out momentarily due to injury. The Beacons Porter and Baker swung away until the Ephs called a time out to regroup, the score being 6-4, Boston. Coming out of time out, Beacon Porter served for 5 consecutive points until Ephs Doll and Rasmussen retaliated. The score reached 13-10, Boston, when player Jasuta returned to the court. Jasuta was met with wild cheering by the massive crowd in the Eph's stands, and continued to swing away on the court. Both Williams and UMass Boston unceasingly pounded the ball to middle court, but Beacon Libero Elizabeth Glavan was always there to receive. After consecutive kills by Eph Doll, Jasuta, and Miller, the Beacons called time out at 22-16, Boston. Having gathered themselves, the Beacons scored two kills, by Porter and Clemons, and a final block by Murphy and Pollock, to wrap up their last set, 25-16.
Williams' head coach Christi Kelsey commented on their most successful season in many years, "I'm telling my players and myself to keep it all in perspective...and I couldn't be more proud of my kids."
Senior captain Emily Doll praised the young women on the team by saying, "I'm so excited to see what these girls do in the next couple of years."
"This is our volleyball family," finished Kelsey.
UMass Boston's head coach Terry Condon said about the match, "we dug a lot of balls, which we knew we had to do," and when asked about strategy, commented, "we're short...we work really hard on our defense."
Junior right side hitter Kristen Morrison, when asked about talent, answered, "UMass Boston is collectively a team...not one person."
Finally, when asked if the honor of Most Outstanding Player gave her confidence, freshman libero Elizabeth Glavan answered, "it's really nice to be honored, but I'm just trying to do my job on the court."
The UMass Boston Beacons were lead by Amber Clemons with 14 kills, Megan Pollock with 41 assists, and Elizabeth Glavan with 27 digs.
The Williams College Ephs were lead by Tori Jasuta and Emily Doll with 9 kills, Ryan Farley with 29 assists, and Emily Doll with 13 digs.
The Beacons' win improves their all-time NCAA record to 12-4, and the Ephs finished this year's NCAA tournament with a 17-11 record.
UMass Boston advances to Holland, MI and the campus of Hope College to play Calvin College (MI) on Thursday, November 21 at a time to be announced.
Calvin is making its third appearance in the NCAA Quarterfinals in the last three years.
NCAA Williamstown, MA. Regional All Tournament Team:
#9 Krystie Luczynski, Roger Williams University
#11 Tessa Smolinski, Springfield College
#3 Kelsey McGayhey, Springfield College
#16 Kristen Morrison, UMass Boston
#9 Tori Jasuta, Williams College
#8 Ryan Farley, Williams College
Most Outstanding Player: #14 libero Elizabeth Glavan.