Williamstown, MA – Fresh off of a big Friday night win against Bates (4-12, 1-2 in NESCAC), the Ephs (7-7, 3-2 in NESCAC) were hoping to keep the energy up during their Saturday double header against Colby College (2-11, 0-4 in Conference) at noon and Endicott College (10-6, 3-0 in Conference) at 5:00pm. Williams beat Bates in a dramatic five set game (25-16, 24-26, 24-26, 25-18, 15-6). Head Coach of the Ephs Christi Kelsey was looking forward to today's matches and noted, "Colby will be another great test for us tomorrow in terms of NESCAC matchups and Endicott will be a strong nonconference opponent. We look forward to the opportunity to get better this weekend."
Noon – The starters for the Ephs were Ally Ostrow '19, Morgan Richman '19, Roxi Corbeil '19, Tori Jasuta '17, Natalie Albright '20, setter Alex Newton '20 as well as libero Catie Benell '17. Up 3-1, Jasuta got a service ace with a strong float serve. Richman attacked a Colby overpass and showed aggressive net coverage. Newton and Albright teamed up for a kill up 7-2. Daiana Takashima '20 entered and showed off a strong jump serve. Ostrow had a kill from the right up 9-6. The Ephs had a big play at 11-9 as Jasuta hit both cross-court and line to drill away a point. Corbeil swung hard from the right side with the help of a skilled back set from Newton. Colby tied things up at 17-17. The Ephs ran a smooth offensive system with a strong dig by Albright allowing Newton to set Jasuta for the kill. The Ephs pushed ahead up 20-17. Colby called the first timeout of the match.
Back from the timeout, Jasuta tipped to add a point. Colby called another timeout down by three at 22-19. To set the score at match point, Jasuta converted a kill off of a Colby overpass. The Ephs won the first set 25-21 with a kill by Jasuta to bring the set to a close. The second set began with Colby fighting hard with a 2-1 lead hoping to tie up the set count. At 4-4, both teams were exchanging kills and strong serves. Corbeil powered through the Colby double block to take the lead for the Ephs. Jasuta earned a cross-court hill as the Eph's lead widened up 8-5. Jasuta followed up with a tip to add a point. Colby called a timeout down by five at 11-6.
With both teams back on the court, Williams was hoping to push ahead and keep the energy up. Corbeil got a kill from the right side up 14-7. Jasuta got a back row kill with Williams up 17-10. Colby called a timeout down by eight at 18-10. Ostrow got a point and dumped the ball over at 19-11. Colby pushed back at 20-15 with the help of consistent serving. Williams fought back with strong attackers to widen their lead. Williams finished strong to win the second set 25-16.
Up two sets to none, the Ephs were looking to sweep Colby in three sets. Colby took an early lead up 4-0 after multiple attack errors by the Ephs. Jasuta ended the run with a kill and a service ace to follow. Colby worked hard to maintain their lead at 6-3 after a kill form the outside. At 7-3, Erin Denham '20 showed strong defensive skills and dug consistently. Narrowing the deficit, Denham got a kill from the outside down 7-5. Down 10-6, Colby had a kill to the back line to maintain their lead. Jasuta had a slow-tempo tip to earn a point. Jasuta drilled a cross-court kill to line down by three. Jasuta continued tipped and added a point down by two at 13-11. Colby's lead widened at 15-11.
At 17-13, Colby got a service ace. At 20-14, Denham got a kill from the outside. At 22-16, Newton attacked an overpass to get a kill. Albright got a middle kill at 22-18. Colby called a timeout. Back on the court, Colby had a double block on the Eph's outside hitter. Albright got a kill at 23-19. Newton switched up her traditional setting and converted a dig from Jasuta into a kill. Corbeil got a kill from the right side at Colby's match point. Newton was serving confidently as the Ephs climbed back. Colby called a timeout with their lead diminished to one at 24-23. The Ephs shook off any nerves and covered a Colby block to reset their offensive system and give Corbeil a kill. Tied at 25-25 both teams were pushing to win. Corbeil powered through the Colby block to take the edge. Corbeil was an offensive force and got a kill from the right side to win the third and final set 27-25.
5:00pm – Williams had a quick break before jumping back into the action with the second game of their double header against Endicott (10-5, 3-0 in Conference). The starters for the Ephs were Ally Ostrow '19, Morgan Richman '19, Roxi Corbeil '19, Tori Jasuta '17, Alex Newton '20, Natalie Albright '20, and libero Caitie Benell '17. Williams had the edge at 2-1 with strong serving by Jasuta. Ostrow had a sharp cross-court hill up 4-2. Daiana Takashima '20 entered to serve at 6-2. Jasuta attacked from the back row up 7-3. Albright earned a point with a quick middle kill up by four. Jasuta had a kill from the outside to widen the Eph's lead at 10-5. Jasuta got a cross-court kill at 11-8. Corbeil and Richman teamed up for a big double block followed by a kill by Corbeil at 12-8.
At 15-11, Benell had a controlled dig that followed with a strong set by Newton and a kill at right side by Corbeil. Endicott had strong double blocks that aided their defensive system. Albright ran a slide at 19-16 to vary her hitting. Albright earned a service ace up 22-17. Endicott called their first timeout of the match down by five. Back in the game, Williams was within three points of taking the first set. With Albright continuing with strong jump serves, Williams won the first set 25-17.
The second set began with the Ephs powering forward hoping to maintain their stamina. At 2-0, Corbeil got a kill at the right pin with a set from Newton. At 5-4, Jasuta got a kill from the outside. Endicott took the lead at 6-5. Jasuta got a kill to tie things up. Jasuta followed up with a kill to line. Corbeil tipped to give the Ephs the edge at 9-8. At 11-9, Corbeil had a powerful opposite kill. Albright had a fast middle kill to lead by two. Jasuta had a back row kill to maintain the Eph's lead. Albright had another middle kill off of a quick set from Newton to drive the lead up to 17-11. Endicott called their first timeout.
Back from the timeout, the Ephs continued to display vibrant energy. Albright earned a kill up 19-15. Newton and Richman demonstrated strong communication as they worked together with a strong double block. Up 23-16, Corbeil had a right side kill. Corbeil had a booming middle kill to bring the Ephs to match point. Williams won the second set 25-17 with a kill by Jasuta. The third set started with the Ephs hoping to earn a clean sweep. Jasuta had a kill from the right side followed by a service ace to take the lead at 2-1. Richman earned a kill in the middle as the lead grew to 5-1. Jasuta had a big dig that allowed the Ephs to capitalize on their offensive plays and Ostrow earned a kill up 7-5.
Up 8-6, Jasuta had a kill from the back row. Takashima demonstrated excellent defensive coverage at 9-6. Newton set consistently to her offensive hitters to maintain the Ephs lead. At 12-7, Endicott called a timeout. Back on the court, Richman powered through the double block to earn a point. Corbeil tipped to add a point up 14-10. Corbeil tipped to another spot in the Endicott defense as the Ephs stayed up by four. After a long rally with strong attacks by both sides, Corbeil attacked from the right to take home the point. Albright had a big dig at 20-15 to maintain the lead. Newton went straight for the kill off of a dig by Ostrow at 22-16. Williams took home the third and final set 25-16.
Head Coach of the Ephs Christi Kelsey remaked on today's wins. She explained, "It was an overall good Saturday for us with two solid team wins. We stayed focused, poised and incredibly consistent in both our execution and competitive mentality."
She also noted the team's progress this season. She added, "We are a month in to our season and we continue to be upbeat and optimistic about our crew this year. We still have a lot of work to do and have to be committed to getting better every day as we enter October. We are looking forward to getting back in the gym ."
The Ephs' next game is Tuesday night at home against New Paltz St (10-7, 3-0 in Conference).