Whitewater, Wis. -- Williams (7-5, 2-1 in NESCAC) started the second day of the Whitewater Invitational hoping to pull off a big upset against #6 Carthage (11-1, 0-0 in Conference) and win against Millikin (9-5, 0-0 in conference) for their second game of the day. Unfortunately, the Ephs were ultimately unsuccessful and suffered two losses on the second day. They lost to Carthage in three sets (25-20, 25-16, 25-11) and Millikin in a five-set nail-biter game losing 13-25 and 25-19, before posting two wins:25-21, 26-24, but falling 15-13 in game five.
Yesterday, Williams had mixed results and defeated Wisconsin-Stout in four sets (16-25, 25-17, 25-23, 25-19) but fell flat against Wisconsin-Whitewater and lost in three sets (25-14, 25-22, 25-18).
The Ephs began the third set trailing by a large deficit, and after multiple attack errors, were down 13-4. Morgan Richman '19 entered and got a kill at 13-5. Carthage then got multiple service aces and the Ephs were unable to respond defensively. The Ephs had major work ahead of them with Carthage up 19-6. Despite a kill from Ostrow at 22-8 and a service ace from Farley at 22-9, Carthage won the set 25-11.
The Ephs hoped to shake off their loss against Carthage and defeat Millikin in their final match of the tournament.
The first set began with high energy from the Ephs and kills from hitters Egan, Corbeil, and Lane. Spellman and Farley also attacked at the net to put the Ephs up by two at 6-4. After multiple attack errors from the Ephs, Mikillin gained a three-point lead at 13-10. After a kill by Spellman, the Ephs decided to take a strategic timeout and hopefully shift the pace at 15-10. However, Millikin went on a strong run after the timeout and quickly advanced the score to 21-10. The Ephs lost the set 25-13.
The Ephs continued to struggle at the beginning of the second set and after a few attack errors were down 5-1. Down by 6 at 7-1, Williams took a timeout to regroup. Farley set up two strong kills from Richman and Lane at 11-3 and 11-4 respectively. Williams needed another timeout down 12-4. Farley had a kill at 17-9 and a service ace at 17-10. After being down by nine at 19-10, the Ephs manage to go on a large run and narrow the deficit to four at 22-18 after kills from Farley, Spellman, Egan, and Richman. However, the Ephs run was short lived and Millikin won the set 25-19.
The third set began on a promising note with Lane and Richman joining forces for a steady block at 4-1. Williams maintained a hold on the lead with back-to-back kills from Jasuta at 9-7 and 10-7. Millikin decided to take a timeout after the Ephs maintained a six-point lead at 15-9. After the timeout, Lane and Farley had a strong block to add a point for the Ephs. The Ephs went on a significant run and Jasuta got a kill from the outside to put the Ephs at match point. However, Millikin responded and came within three. The Ephs decided to take a timeout still at match point, 24-21. The Ephs came out of the timeout strong with a crucial kill from Richman to win the set 25-21.
The fourth set proved incredible competitive and a nail-biter until the very end. The Ephs worked incredibly hard and had to win the set by two after going past 25 to 26-24. The fifth set was also very high intensity but ultimately disappointing for the Ephs who lost 15-13 against Millikin.
The Ephs had a difficult final day of the Whitewater Tournament, losing to Carthage in three sets (25-20, 25-16, 25-11) and Millikin in five sets.
Senior setter and captain Ryan Farley was named to the All-Tournament Team for the second consecutive tournament this season.
Head Coach of the Ephs Christi Kelsey reflected on the tournament and said, "The tournament overall was a big learning experience for us. It is an awesome and special experience for us to be able to travel out of region this year. There were a lot of good things that our team did but we also has a chance to really measure where we are at here in the early part of the season. Going forward we have to focus on our consistency from point to point and set to set."
When asked about the rest of the season, Coach Kelsey added, "I am optimistic that we will take some of the things we learned about ourselves and keep building off that as we prepare for regional play."