Williamstown, MA -- Williams (5-2/NESCAC 1-1) kicked off their second conference game of the season by battling the Connecticut College Camels (4-3/NESCAC 0-2) in a five-set win (25-20, 19-25, 25-8, 21-25,15-11). Last night, the Ephs had a tough home and conference opening game, losing to Tufts University (4-2, 1-0). The Ephs previously defeated Tufts to win their second consecutive NESCAC title last season.
Both teams began with a rocky start, however, and made a variety of attack errors and service errors. Tori Jasuta '17 took control of the pace with a dynamic cross-court kill from the outside to put the Ephs up 4-3. Ally Ostrow '19 tipped strategically to the center of the court to put the Ephs up 5-3. Tri-Captain Ryan Farley '16 converted an overpass into calculated attack, dumping the ball to put the Ephs up 7-5. Tri-Captain Katherine Lane and Farley showed dynamic coordination as they ran a slide to put the Ephs up 9-7, followed by an impressive block by Shelby Fisher '18 and Farley to give the Ephs and additional point. Anna Spellman '17 proved to be a force in the back row, hitting from back right make the score 11-6. Conn took a break and called a timeout at 16-10. After multiple attack errors from the Ephs, Spellman hammered down with back-to-back kills at 18-12. Lane converted an overpass from Conn into a fiery kill to gives the Ephs an edge ahead at 20-16. With a service error from Conn at match point, the Ephs won the set 25-20.
The second set began with a long combination of attacks from both teams that ultimately landed the Ephs on top after a decisive line judgment by libero Caitie Benell '17. Jasuta had an explosive outside attack to the back corner of the Camel's court to make the score 5-1. At 8-2, the Ephs showcased their presence at the net with a thundering block from Lane and Jasuta. Fisher put up an impenetrable middle block at 12-9. Jasuta attacked effectively from the outside to earn the Ephs another point. The Camels came back strong and tied the match after an attack error by the Ephs. Lane showed composure at the net and blocked a tip to give the Ephs the edge. Conn showed scrappy defense and determination, forcing the Ephs to take a time out down 16-18. Morgan Richman '19 entered for the Ephs at 16-20. After a series of attacks by the Camels, Conn College ultimately won the set 25-19.
With one set apiece, both teams were ready to fight hard to win the third set. Fisher set the tone with a fast-passed tip to tie at 1-1. Roxi Corbell '19 entered the game strong with a booming kill at 4-1, giving the Ephs a huge boost in momentum and energy. Corbell followed at 8-2 with a meticulous tip in between Conn blockers. After a major run by the Ephs, Conn needed a breather at 9-2 and took a timeout. Jasuta and Lane worked together for a big block at 12-2. Freshmen proved a major asset to the Ephs as impressive kills by Corbell and Morgan Richman put the Ephs up 15-5. Conn took another time up with the Ephs up 17-5. Farley and Lane teamed up for a momentous block to add a point to the score, 22-6. A sneaky tip from Farley put the Ephs at match point. Ostrow went in for the kill and the Ephs won the set 25-8.
Eph head coach Christi Kelsey commented on the match enthusiastically and said, "There's been a lot of growth over the course of the last two weeks. We definitely rebounded from last night. I'm proud of the fact that we can pull out a fifth set win against a good team like Conn. It's a good thing for our confidence moving forward."