Williamstown, MA-- Williams (9-5, 3-1 in NESCAC) began a lively NESCAC weekend at home in Chandler with a match against Bates College (5-7, 2-2 in NESCAC) on Friday night. Last season, the Ephs were away at Bates in Lewiston, Maine and defeated them in three sets (25-20, 28-26, 25-16).
The starters for the Ephs were Ally Ostrow '19, Mia Weinland '19, Roxi Corbeil '19, and Tri-Captains Ryan Farley '16, Katherine Lane '16, and Catherine Egan '16. Tori Jasuta '17 traded her usual white uniform for a black one as she started at libero this game instead of her usual position as outside hitter. Libero Caitie Benell '17 suffered an injury during the previous match against Union College and did not play in today's game. Anna Spellman '17 was out for the match as well. Bates gained a quick two-point lead that was stopped with a kill from Ostrow. Lane had a tricky swipe on an overpass by Bates to give the Ephs another point.
Jasuta had back-to-back service aces to put the Ephs up 7-3. Weinland and Corbeil had big swings from the outside and right side respectively to contribute to the Ephs' early lead. Bates needed a breather down 11-4 and called their first timeout of the match. After the timeout, Weinland got a kill from the outside. Ostrow continued to attack and put the score at 13-7. After multiple service aces from Bates, Williams diminished their lead to one and called their first timeout at 13-12.
Proving energized from the timeout, Farley dumped the ball to center court to sneakily add a point for Williams. Farley continued the momentum and earned a service ace. Vassar called their second timeout trailing by six at 18-12. Back from the timeout, Lane electrified Chandler with a sharp kill from the middle. Corbeil attacked fearlessly from the right side to put the Ephs at match point. Weinland slammed down a kill from the outside to win the set for the Ephs 25-17.
The second set began with the Ephs showcasing solid attacking skills, and Ostrow got a kill from the outside. Bates sought revenge and came back to tie at 2-2. Weinland had a seamless block to give the Ephs a point and followed up with a big kill. Egan pushed the ball over to add one for the Ephs, and continued to attack by teaming up with Weinland for a block. Egan and Farley showcased their dynamic capabilities and ran a slide to set the score up 11-7. Bates took a timeout down by six.
Bates came back hungry from the timeout and went on a five-point run. The Ephs were caught off guard and called a timeout with their lead diminished to one at 13-12. Williams returned to the court with a solid offense and soon widened the margin to 17-12. Ostrow effectively placed her attack in between members of the Bates back row and forced Bates to take another timeout down by five at 19-14. Weinland contributed to the Ephs' steady lead with multiple kills from the outside. Corbeil's kill from the outside put Williams at match point and the Ephs ultimately won the second set 25-21.
The third set began with a long rally demonstrating the strong defensive and offensive capabilities of both teams ending in a strategic tip from Corbeil. Shelby Fisher '18 entered at middle and had multiple tips and attacks but Bates' defense was able to strike back. The Ephs maintained a narrow lead of a few points throughout the set. Williams won a long rally with a kill by Weinland. After Corbeil converted a Bates overpass into a kill, Bates took a timeout down by five at 15-10. Back from the timeout, Jasuta's serve skimmed the net and earned her a service ace. At 17-12, Richman entered to serve. Bates took at timeout down by six with a score of 20-14. Elizabeth Cromack '18 entered at 21-15 and proved to be a force at the middle. The Ephs took the third set consistently with a final score of 25-18.
Ultimately, the Ephs shutout Bates in three sets (25- 17, 25-21, 25-18).
Bates player Nicole Peraica, a left-handed right side hitter, proved to be a large component of their team, and had a team-high 7 kills with a hitting percentage of .192%.
Head Coach of the Ephs Christi Kelsey praised the team's hard work and remarked, "I really liked our energy from the very beginning. I thought overall we did a pretty good job of playing our style of game. Bates is a solid team so it was good to come out with a consistent win."
Coach Kelsey noted how well four of the freshman, Mia Weinland, Ally Ostrow, Morgan Richman, and Roxi Corbeil played today. She said, "I thought our four freshmen adjusted really well and stepped up. A few people were playing different positions, and the whole team stepped up." Ostrow had a game-high 13 kills for the Ephs while Weinland and Corbeil had large contributions with 11 kills each. Weinland had the most completions and had the highest hitting percentage of .421%. Setter Ryan Farley had the most assists with 36.
The Ephs continue their eventful weekend with a game against Colby College tomorrow in Chandler at 2:00PM. Coach Kelsey encouraged the team to rest up and added, "Another opportunity; another strong NESCAC component. Hopefully we can get some rest tonight and gear up for another battle."