Williamstown, MA—Williams volleyball (14-1, 5-0 NESCAC) finished their second day of home games with a four set win over Middlebury College and a three set defeat of SUNY Potsdam (6-13). The set scores against Middlebury were 25-17, 24-16, 25-10, and 25-12, and 25-19, 25-17, and 25-14 against SUNY Potsdam.
The Ephs had a slow start in the first set, trailing 4-8 behind the Panthers. After a time-out, Williams was able to regroup and shorten the gap to 9-10, after a quick middle attack by Catherine Egan hit the floor. A service ace by Caitie Benell thrust the Ephs into the lead, 12-10, forcing Middlebury to call a time out when Williams pressed their lead to 16-13. A dome block by Claire Miller and Raea Rasmussen followed by a right-side kill from Egan helped the Ephs break 20. The Panthers called their second time out when the Ephs pushed 21-15, but it was impossible to close the gap as the Ephs charged ahead, and a back row kill from Jasuta and a quick middle attack by Katherine Lane locked the first set, 25-17.
Williams refused to fall behind again early in the second set, and kept the score tied at 5-5. Middlebury edged ahead by two points, but were quickly thwarted by a kill on the line from Claire Miller and a block from Egan and Lane. Cannon fire from the middle by Lane followed by a service ace by setter Ryan Farley gave Williams the edge over Middlebury 13-10. The Ephs continued to terminate long rallies, and the Panthers called a time-out when the score reached 15-11. The Panthers managed to break through the Eph block coming out of time-out, and shrank their deficit to one point. A solo block from Rasmussen kept the Ephs their lead at 18-15, and a classic setter dump from junior Ryan Farley broke twenty points. The Eph lead was threatened by a quick middle attack set the score at 23-22, but Jasuta threw down the hammer to put the Ephs at game point. However, the Panthers managed to tie the score at a nail-biting 24-24, and an outside kill put Middlebury at game point, 25-24, and Williams called a time-out. The Panthers terminated the final rally, winning the second set, 26-24.
A service ace by Farley welcomed the Panthers into the third set, and the Ephs barreled ahead, 15-1 on libero Amanda Schott's serving streak. Middlebury managed only a few side-outs before Williams broke twenty points, 20-6. Jasuta smashed the ball from the outside to get to game point, and a final smartly placed tip from the middle handily grabbed the Ephs the third set 25-10.
An outside kill by Rasmussen followed by Jasuta started during another serving streak by Schott pushed the Ephs ahead, 4-0 in the start of the third set. Backrow attacks from Jasuta littered the floor, and domination of the net kept the Ephs their lead, 10-5. Williams cleaned up their blocks and continued sealing the net, and Middlebury called a time-out after Farley and Lane shut down a middle attack. Williams continued to swing away, racking up their lead by ten points, 17-7. The Panthers called another time-out when Egan burst through their block and brought the Ephs to twenty points. A service ace by Jasuta shut down the Panther's attempt to regroup, and Rasmussen set the score at 22-10 with another one-woman middle block. Middlebury gathered two more points before Egan crushed center-court and Jasuta terminated the final rally, winning the set for the Ephs, 25-12.
Tori Jasuta led the team with 19 kills, with Raea Rasmussen and Claire Miller also in double digits, with 12 and 10 respectively. Junior setter Ryan Farley ran the Ephs balanced offense, finishing with 46 assists for the match. Farley also led the team with 3 service aces. The backcourt defense was also led by Jasuta, with 17 digs. Miller and sophomore defensive specialist Caitie Benell also registered double digit digs, with 11 apiece.
4pm— The Ephs faced off against Potsdam State in the second match of the day, and many players came off the bench to contribute to the game. Williams started strong, winning the first set 25-19, and swept the next two sets, 25-17 and 25-14.
Claire Miller, Katherine Lane, and Catherine Egan dominated the net, with Miller collecting 9 kills and Lane and Egan each gathering 8. The Eph back row was defended by Amanda Schott and Emily O'Day, who each dug 7 balls. Tori Jasuta crushed it at the service line, scoring 3 service aces for the Ephs.
"I was really proud of how every member of our team contributed both on the court with their play and their energy on the bench as well," commented Williams Coach Christi Kelsey.
The Ephs play again at home against New Paltz State on Tuesday October 7th in Chandler Gymnasium, beginning at 7pm.