Williamstown, MA – The Ephs were excited for a big weekend at home and kicked things off with a Friday night game against Bates (4-11, 1-1 in NESCAC). On Saturday, Williams is hosting a double-header at home against Colby (2-9, 0-2 in NESCAC) at 12:00pm and Endicott College (10-5, 3-0 in Conference) at 5:00pm.
The starters for the Ephs were Ally Ostrow '19, Morgan Richman '19, Roxi Corbeil '19, Tori Jasuta '17, setter Alex Newton '20, and libero Caitie Benell '17. At 1-1, Corbeil tipped to earn a point for the Ephs. After a skilled back set by Newton, Corbeil earned a kill from the right side. Daiana Takashima '20 subbed in at 4-3 for the serve. Newton capitalized on an overpass at 6-3 to dump the ball over and earn a point. The Ephs took at early lead up 8-4. At 10-5, Albright earned a service ace. Bates then called the first timeout of the match down by five. Back from the time out, the Ostrow and Jasuta had aggressive hits. Newton's strong float serve got her an ace as the lead grew to 13-6. Richman had a quick kill in the middle with a set from Newton. Corbeil continued to faze Bates with her sly tips. After a big dig by Jasuta, the Ephs ran a smooth offensive system ending with a right side kill by Corbeil up 17-10. Down by eight at 19-11, Bates called their second timeout of the set.
Back from the timeout, both teams were hoping to take home the second set. Jasuta had a critical kill at 20-16, which Bates responded to at 20-17 with an outside kill. Up 23-20, Ostrow got a kill from the outside. Bates then called another timeout. With both teams back on the court, Bates fought hard to tie things up. Williams wanted a chance to talk and called at timeout with the score at 23-23. A passing error set the score at Bates' match point, but the Ephs fought back to tie at 24-24. After a head referee called a hit by the Ephs out of bounds, Bates won the second set 26-24.
Williams began the third set with a service ace by Newton. Corbeil tipped from the outside at 2-1. Jasuta followed with a powerful float serve. At 5-3, Takashima subbed in with a strong serve. Both teams were swinging hard and the score was tied at 6-6. At 8-7, Jasuta electrified Chandler with a booming outside kill. Takashima showed strong defensive skills and picked up multiple kills from the Bates offense. At 10-10, Corbeil swung hard from the right side. Bates took the lead at 11-10. Jasuta got a kill from the back row with the Ephs down 12-11. Albright earned a kill in the middle with a set from Newton at 14-13.
The Ephs tied things up at 14-14 after an attack error by Bates. Ostrow took home a kill at the left pin to take the lead at 16-15. Jasuta added a point with a cross-court kill at 17-17. Both teams demonstrated their ability to defend consistently and attack with confidence as the score inched up in the decisive third set. Jasuta had another big kill from the outside at 19-19. Bates regained the lead at 20-19. The Ephs tied things up at 20-20 with strong defense. Williams called a timeout after Bates took the lead 20-22. Ostrow had a big kill from the outside with both sides back on the court.
The Ephs were down one at 22-23. The Ephs brought home a crucial tie at 23-23. After a service error by the Ephs put the score at Bates' match point, Ostrow tipped to tie again at 24-24. Despite a strong double block by Jasuta and Newton, Bates earned a point up 25-24. Bates won the third set 26-24. The fourth set proved to be Bates' chance to take home the win.
The fourth set began the Ephs maintaining strong energy on the court. Williams took the lead at 3-2, after a kill by Ostrow. Bates responded to take the lead at 6-4 with strong hitters. Up 8-7, Jasuta got an outside kill. At 10-10, Erin Denham '20 got a kill from the right side. With skilled digging by Benell, the Ephs took home a big point up 12-11 after a kill from Ostrow. Ostrow got another outside kill tied at 13-13. The Ephs held lead at 16-14 after consistent serving by Takashima. Bates called a timeout down 17-14.
Back from the timeout, the Ephs had a strong double block on the Bates' right side hitter by Ostrow and Albright. Williams widened their lead up 21-16. Newton tipped the ball to earn a point up 22-17. Bates called a timeout down by five at 23-17. At match point, Jasuta hit to line to take home the fourth set 25-18.
The fifth set was winner-takes-all as both teams hoped to be the first to fifteen. Up 3-1, the Ephs pushed hard with a service ace by Newton. Bates called a timeout down by five at 6-1. Williams continued their lead at the side change at 8-2. Denham got a kill from the right at 9-2. Bates called another timeout. Jasuta earned a service ace with the ball back in play. Up 12-2, Jasuta continued to place her powerful float serve. Williams called a timeout after Bates edged back in at 12-6. Bates rallied back with strong energy. Ostrow had a cross-court kill from the outside to put the Ephs within two of the win. Williams one the fifth and final set with a large lead at 15-6. Ultimately, Williams (5-7, 2-2 in NESCAC) won in a grueling five set match (25-16, 24-26, 24-26, 25-18, 15-6).
Head Coach of the Ephs Christi Kelsey remarked on today's game. She explained, "I am proud of how our team fought back to pull off the win tonight. Credit to Bates as they played with a lot of heart, were incredibly scrappy and never gave up all the way through to the very end which forced us to make some adjustments and play point for point with them. We had different people step up at different times especially in the 4th and 5th sets to keep us positive and focused on competing. It really was a great team effort especially in the 5th set to close out the win."
The Ephs hope to maintain the energy in Chandler and look forward to their double header against Colby (2-9, 0-2 in NESCAC) and Endicott (10-5, 3-0 in Conference) at noon and 5:00pm respectively.