Schenectady, New York -- Williams (2-1) started Saturday strong with a 3-set win over SUNY Cortland (2-6) in their first match of the Union Invitational. Williams followed up with a grueling 5-set loss against Union (N.Y.) (7-0).
Fresh off of a win against Vassar College on Wednesday, the Ephs continued their momentum with a strong 3-set win against SUNY Cortland (2-5). The Ephs won the first set 25-19, the second set 25-21, and the third set 25-17.
Freshman Ally Ostrow and senior Catherine Egan led the Ephs with 8 kills each. Juniors Tori Jasuta and Caitie Bennell each contributed 11 digs and senior setter Ryan Farley notched 32 assists.
The Ephs battled Union in an intense 5-set match ending in a close loss.
The Ephs lost the first set in a close first match with a final score of 25- 20. The match began with starters Roxi Corbell 19, Catherine Egan 16, Ally Ostrow 19, Anna Spellman 17, Katherine Lane 16, Ryan Farley 16, and libero Caitie Benell 17. Spellman confidently gave Williams their first kill of the match making the score 2-3. The game experienced multiple lead changes and ties at 4-4, 11-11, 12-12, 13-13, 14-14, 15-15, 16-16, and 17-17. Williams took at timeout after Vassar pushed ahead to lead by three points at 17-20.
Williams won the second set confidently with a final score of 25-14. Freshman Roxi Corbell got the first kill of the set for the Ephs with a dynamic assist from Ryan Farley. Multiple kills from Spellman followed as Farley showed poise and athleticism with her sets. At 6-6 Coach Kelsey subbed in Tori Jasuta for Anna Spellman. Jasuta, reigning back-to-back All-NESCAC Volleyball player of the year, has been recovering from shoulder surgery that she received in the off season and showed vigor on the court. The Ephs ran a variety of unique plays, including a play where Jasuta set up Farley for a powerful kill to put the Ephs up 11-7. Union took at time out at 19-11 after an impressive run by the Ephs that included a kill by Corbell followed by back-to-back aces by Farley. The match point was another strong kill by Spellman with a final score of 25-14.
With one set a-piece, both teams came prepared for a significant third match. Despite losing the first four match points, the Ephs came back strong beginning with a kill from Spellman to put the score at 2-6. They pushed ahead to tie the game at 11-11 with a kill from Ostrow and assist by Farley. Tori Jasuta was subbed in for Anna Spellman at 4-9, as was Morgan Richman for Roxi Corbell at 3-8. The Ephs regained the lead but after being tied at 14-14 Union pushed ahead. With multiple lead changes the Ephs took the lead at 22-21 with a kill from Lane and set by Farley. The Ephs fearlessly earned another point with a kill by Farley. At 23-21, Union took a timeout in an attempt to regain control of the tempo. The match tied at 24-24, forcing the teams to continue battling in order to win by 2. Union won the match 26-24 after a kill from Union followed call from the referee for a bad set by Farley.
The fourth match proved very competitive with both teams controlling the pace of the game at different times. Ultimately, the Ephs came out victorious and took the win with a final score of 25-16.
The fifth match was a competitive match ending in close loss with the final score 15-9. A contributing factor to the loss of this match were many attack errors from the Ephs.
Eph head coach Christi Kelsey reflected on the day with a focus on consistency. "Constancy is something that we need to work on. The team had moments when we were firing on all cylinders and other moments that weren't as strong. Going forward, we're looking to improve on having consistency across the board during matches."
The Ephs play two matches tomorrow against Oneonta State at 1:00pm and Skidmore at 3:00 pm on Day 2 of the Union Invitation.