New London, Connecticut – The Ephs (9-7, 4-2 in NESCAC) beat Connecticut College (8-7, 3-3 in NESCAC) in four sets (25-10, 25-11, 15-25, 25-22) in a Saturday afternoon away game. Conn College was fresh off of a home Friday night win against Amherst (9-5, 4-2 in NESCAC). Conn beat Amherst in four sets (25-21, 13-25, 25-23, 25-23).
The starts for the Ephs were Ally Ostrow '19, Morgan Richman '19, Roxi Corbeil '19, Tori Jasuta '17, Alex Newton '20, and Natalie Albright '19. The Ephs started strong during the first set and were able to establish a significant early lead in order to win the match 25-10. Ostrow and Jasuta were an important part of the Ephs' offense as they tallied 16 and 17 kills respectively. Jasuta lead the team hitting percentage with an impressive .583% and Erin Denham '20 had strong numbers for the day with 6 kills and a kitting percentage of .545%.
The second set began with Williams taking an early lead up 3-0 after continuing the energy for the win in the first set. Conn College pushed back and tied things up at 6-6 after strong serving. Benell provided strong jump serves throughout the second set. Up 15-13, Ostrow had a strong kill from the outside with a set from Newton. Williams had strong communication and made the Conn College gym feel like Chandler with constant play calling. Jasuta earned an outside kill to bring the lead to four at 19-15. Down by five at 20-15, Conn College called a timeout.
Back from the timeout, Jasuta was ready and earned another kill from the outside. At 23-18, Jasuta got a kill from the outside. Conn College had strong hitting and inched back to come within two. Up by two at 23-21, Williams called a timeout.Back on the court, Ostrow got a kill to put the Ephs at match point. Ostrow continued to dominate from the left pin and had a strong line kill to take the second set 25-21.
Conn College took an early lead in the third set up 4-1 after a service ace. Conn College stayed active at the net and continued to score. Williams called a timeout down by six at 11-6. Williams came back strong and narrowed the deficit to two at 11-9. At 13-10, Jasuta got a kill off of a set from Newton. Up 19-11, Conn College had a strong outside kill. At 21-11, Williams called a timeout. Conn College won the third set 25-15.
Conn College began the fourth set with a service ace. At 4-2, Jasuta tipped to earn a point. At 6-6, Denham got a kill from the right side. At 7-7, Daiana Takashima had a strong jump serve. Williams pushed forward at 11-8 after a serve from Ostrow. Jasuta had a big line kill up 13-8. Up 15-10, Jasuta had a cross-court kill. Up 16-10, Natalie Albright had a strong jump serve. Up 19-15, Ostrow earned an outside kill. Conn college called a timeout down by five at 20-15. Back from the timeout Conn College narrowed the deficit down by four at 23-19. Ostrow had an important kill to put the Ephs at match point. Conn College called a timeout at 24-21. After an attack error by Conn College, Williams took the fourth and final set 25-22.
Head Coach of the Ephs Christi Kelsey remarked on today's game. She explained, "I thought our energy, focus and execution were really strong in the first two sets of the match today. The third set we got off to a bit of a shaky start and credit to Conn for making some adjustments and continuing to battle. We steadied ourselves a bit toward the end of the third and start of the fourth. That gave us some momentum to help carry us through the fourth set."
Coach Kelsey also noted that the team has a lot to look forward to this season. She stated, "I am proud of this team for continuing to work hard and know that we still have areas we can be sharper in and work on. We look forward to getting back in the gym next week and using the practice opportunities we have to help make each other better!"
The Ephs continue their season with NESCAC games on the road next weekend. Williams plays Hamilton (6-6, 2-4 in NESCAC) at 8:00PM on Friday night and Middlebury (11-4, 4-2 in NESCAC) at 2:00PM on Saturday.