Volleyball Seeded 2nd in NESCAC Tourney; Play Colby Friday in 1st Round at Bowdoin

Catherine Egan '16/Keller Gabriel
Catherine Egan '16/Keller Gabriel

WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – Three times in the last seven years Eph head volleyball Christi Kelsey has guided the Ephs to the NESCAC title including the last two years in a row.

This year Kelsey's Ephs are seeded second in the NESCAC Tournament to be hosted this Friday through Sunday at Bowdoin College. Bowdoin went 9-1 in NESCAC play to earn the top seed. Play will be conducted in both the Morrell and Sargent Gymnasiums at Bowdoin.

"Its always an honor to have the opportunity to participate in the NESCAC championship," noted Kelsey. "It has been an incredible year of highly competitive volleyball within our conference and I have no doubt that will only continue as we head into this coming weekend. There are a lot of talented teams with great coaches and I really believe that the team that can play a high level of steady, consistent, and confident volleyball for three straight days will emerge as the champion."

Both Williams and Amherst finished the year with a record of 8-2 in NESCAC play; however, the Ephs won the head-to-head matchup and were seeded second, while Amherst was seeded third. If the first round seeds hold then Williams and Amherst would meet Saturday in one of the semifinal matches.

Williams compiled a 16-9 overall record this season, which included a four-game stint in Wisconsin against some nationally ranked teams that turned into a 1-3 trip for the Ephs.

The Ephs are tournament-tested and talented even though they had their bench shortened by some key injuries this season.

Senior setter and captain Ryan Farley (La Jolla, Calif.) directs one of the top offenses in the league as dishing out a conference-best 10.05 assists per set, while the Ephs average 12.64 kills per set as a squad. Junior Tori Jasuta (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) and first-year Ally Ostrow (Menlo Park, Calif.) contribute more than 2.10 kills and 3.60 digs per set each for a balanced Williams squad.

"Our team has made such great strides since our preseason began back in September," Kelsey stated. "I am so proud of how this group has really tackled the challenges we have faced this season. Its made our group closer in many ways and helped prepare us for what may lie ahead. I am excited to have our group leave it all out on the court this weekend and just keep playing hard for each other."

The Ephs' quarterfinal opponent is seventh-seeded Colby (14-11, 4-6 NESCAC). On October 3 the Ephs blanked the Mules in a match in Williamstown 3-0.

2015 NESCAC Volleyball Tournament

Quarterfinals - Friday, November 6

No. 8 Bates at No. 1 Bowdoin - 5 p.m.
No. 7 Colby vs. No. 2 Williams - 5 p.m.
No. 6 Connecticut College vs. No. 3 Amherst - 8 p.m.
No. 5 Tufts vs. No. 4 Middlebury - 8 p.m.

Semifinals - Saturday, November 7

Winner of 1/8 vs. Winner of 4/5 - 1 p.m.
Winner of 2/7 vs. Winner of 3/6 - 3:30 p.m.

Championship - Sunday, November 8

Semifinal Winners - Noon