Medford, MA—Williams volleyball (23-4) downed Hamilton College (15-12) this evening in five sets, winning their first match of the weekend in the NESCAC championships at Tufts University. The set scores were 25-11, 25-20, 23-25, 28-20, and 15-12.
Williams opened their first NESCAC championship match with two consecutive kills from Tori Jasuta and Catherine Egan. The Ephs rushed ahead to double the Continental's score at 10-5. A serving streak from junior setter Ryan Farley gave the Ephs an astounding ten-point run, earning three service aces and dishing out four kills before Hamilton earned a side-out, 21-7. A final kill from senior Raea Rasmussen won the Ephs the first set, 25-11.
The Continentals took off in the second set with an early lead over the Ephs, 9-6. A service ace from senior Amanda Schott followed by a quick middle kill from Katherine Lane brought the teams to a tie, 9-9. Williams called a time-out when they started to fall behind, 12-16, and the score was tied once again at 20-20 thanks to a service ace from senior Claire Miller and several Continental errors. A kill from Lane followed by a big block at the right side from Farley and Lane forced Hamilton to call a time-out when their lead was stolen, 22-20. Farley dished out a set to Miller, and, after finishing with a six-point run, Williams took the second set, 25-20.
The Ephs had a slow start in the third set, following behind Hamilton 6-9 early on. Hamilton managed to double the Ephs' score at 6-12 before Williams went on a four-point run, forcing Hamilton to call a time-out. Williams pushed their score to a one-point deficit at 14-15, which was maintained until Hamilton reached game point with a two-point lead, 22-24. Though the Ephs earned a side-out, a final attack error gave Hamilton the third set, 23-25.
The fourth set saw another slow start from Williams, trailing by one point until Hamilton pushed their lead to 6-11 over Williams. An Eph time-out managed to regroup the Ephs, who fought on with swings from Jasuta and Miller. A Continental error followed by a heavy hit from Egan pressured Hamilton into a time-out, 16-20, but the Ephs continued to push points. Williams pressed on to earn five points, tying the score for the first time at 21-21, forcing another time-out from Hamilton. The tied score alternated with several lead exchanges, pushing the score to 25's and then to 27's. Nerves heightened as the tied score reached 28, and Hamilton pushed for the final two points, earning two kills and overcoming the Ephs, 28-30.
Williams again started a bit behind in the fifth set, but quickly regrouped to gain the lead, 4-3 over Hamilton. A service ace from senior Emily O'Day followed by a quick kill from Rasmussen pushed the Ephs ahead, 6-3, and Williams was the first to eight, switching sides at 8-7. The Continentals managed to tie the score before the Ephs pushed two points, leading Hamilton into a time-out at 10-8. Two kills from Jasuta followed by her service ace brought the Ephs to game point, 14-11. A vengeful swing from Rasmussen hit center court for the final point, winning the final set 15-12 and earning the Ephs their first win of the weekend.
The Ephs had a good hitting day today, averaging .213 in the match and were led by Tori Jasuta with 20 kills. Setter Ryan Farley contributed 52 assists to her team's 63 kills. Williams' defense was led also by Jasuta, who managed 25 digs, assisted by Katherine Lane with 3 blocks.
The Continentals were led by Courtney Brown and Emma Lonadier, who both earned 13 kills in the five sets. Hamilton's Anna Brown covered back court with a match-high 28 digs.
The Ephs will play Amherst College tomorrow at 3:30pm in Medford, MA.