Williamstown, MA -- Williams (8-5, 2-1 in NESCAC) battled Union (11-4, 2-2 in Conference) for the second time this season to win in three sets (25-17, 25-22, 25-19).
Williams previously played Union in Schenectady, New York at the Union Invitational earlier this season. The Ephs and Union played an intense 5-set match ending, in a close loss for the Ephs (20-25, 25-14, 24-26, 25-16, 10-15). A contributing factor to the loss was the many attack errors made by the Ephs. Head Coach of the Ephs Christi Kelsey reflected on the match afterwards and said, "The girls have the right mindset to keep getting better." The Ephs have since battled many teams in and out of conference play, and were excited to take on Union for a second time this season. Williams spent the previous weekend in Whitewater, Wisconsin facing tough opponents from the Midwest at the Whitewater Invitational.
Excited to be back at home in Chandler, the Ephs began the first set with enthusiasm and energy. Starters Ally Ostrow '19, Roxi Corbeil '19, Tori Jasuta '17, libero Caitie Benell '17, and Tri-captains Ryan Farley '16, Katherine Lane '16, and Catherine Egan '16 began on a high note. The first point was a thundering kill from the right side by Corbeil. At 4-4, the Ephs earned a kill from the middle by Egan. Farley sprinted across the court to set up Ostrow for a kill from the outside at 5-5. After some back-and-forth rallying, Jasuta got a kill from the outside to sustain the tie at 6-6.
Corbeil had a big kill from the outside after a skilled set from Farley at 9-8. Corbeil showed equal skill hitting from the right side and delivered another zinger at 11-10. Morgan Richman '19 entered to serve at 10-10. Williams decided to take a timeout at 13-12.
Jasuta came back invigorated with a kill from the outside to put the score at 14 all. After a powerful service ace by Egan at 17-14, Union took a breather and used a timeout. Egan continued her strong serving after the timeout. After Benell quickly defended an attempted tip from Union, Jasuta responded with a successful tip from the outside at 19-15.
Union used their second timeout with the Ephs up 22-15. Union responded with back-to-back blocks on Corbeil to put the score at 23-16. The Ephs won the set 25-17 after strong blocking from Egan and Ostrow.
Lane attacked from the middle and scored another kill as the Ephs widened their lead at 15-12. The Ephs showed scrappy defense and strong blocking but tied with Union at 17 all. Both teams held the lead and showed scrappy defense and strong attacks at the net.
The Ephs had a stellar point at 21-19, with a strong middle block from Lane that Union was able to defend followed by a quick attack from Jasuta that earned the Ephs a point. Union decided to regroup with another timeout. At 24-21, Egan and Corbeil teamed up for a seamless block on the Union outside hitter. The Ephs won the second set 25-22.
The third set began strong with confident serving and attacking from Farley and Jasuta respectively. Up by three at 7-4, the Ephs subbed in Funmi Adejobi '17. Up 8-6, Richman entered to serve. Jasuta had a strong kill from the outside to the corner of Union's side at 10-7. Farley converted an overpass from the Ephs into a point with strategic blocking at 13-10. Ostrow followed with a strong kill from the back row. Lane had another quick kill from the middle after a strong set by Farley to give the Ephs a five-point lead.
The Ephs continue on their journey with two NESCAC home games this weekend. They play Bates on Friday at 8:00 PM and Colby at 2:00 PM in Chandler Gym. Coach Kelsey added, "It will be fun to get back into conference play. As always, it will be another fun, challenging weekend."