Cambridge, MA – Williams (12-9, 5-3 in NESCAC) had a loaded day of tournament play on the second and final day of the New England Challenge hosted by MIT (24-4, 8-0 in Conference). Last night, the Ephs lost in four sets to MIT (12-25, 20-25, 25-22, 17-25). The first match of the day was against Babson College (14-11, 6-3 in Conference) at 10:30am. The second match of the day was against Springfield College (24-4, 8-1) who held a sixteen game win streak.
10:30am – The starters for the Ephs were Ally Ostrow '19, Natalie Albright '20, Tori Jasuta '17, Morgan Richman '19, Daiana Takashima '20, and libero Caitie Benell '17. Williams took an early lead up 3-0 after multiple attack errors by Babson. Babson then regained the lead and went up 8-3. Williams wanted a pause and called a timeout. Jasuta returned with a kill from the outside off of an assist by Newton. Down 9-5, Corbeil got a kill from the right side. Down 14-8, Albright got a kill in the middle with a quick set by Newton. Newton had back-to-back service aces to narrow the deficit at 17-15. Babson then called their first timeout of the match.
Back on the court, Jasuta got an outside kill at 19-16. Ostrow had a kill at Babson's match point. Williams had nerves of steel and went on a big run at match point. Jasuta had three kills in a row with the help of technical setting by Newton. Babson then called a timeout. Ostrow had a service ace tied up at 24-24 and Jasuta had an outside kill to take the lead. Tied up again at 26-26 with a kill by Jasuta, both teams were hoping to take the win with the next two points. Ultimately, Babson took the edge and one the first set 29-27.
Williams took a large lead early in the second set up 5-0 after strong attacks by Jasuta and Ostrow. Babson called a timeout down 9-2. The Ephs steadily increased their lead with the help of two service aces by Jasuta to set the score at 12-3. Babson called another timeout at 16-5. Newton switched up her role and got a surprise kill with a strong dig by Ostrow. Jasuta had another service ace to put the Ephs at match point. Corbeil took home the win with a kill from the right side at 25-11.
With one set a piece, both teams were looking to take the decisive third set. The set began with a tie at 4-4 as both teams shook off early nerves with attacking errors. Babson took the lead at 12-8 with the help of multiple service ace. The Ephs soon narrowed the deficit to tie at 12-12. Down at 18-15, Corbeil got a kill. Benell had back-to-back service aces to narrow the deficit to one. Albright had a middle kill to tie at 20-20. Babson called a timeout at 22-22.
Up 24-23, Jasuta had an outside kill to give the Ephs the edge. Tied at 24-24, the Ephs pushed the next to points with kills by Jasuta and Corbeil. The Ephs won the third set 26-24. The fourth set started with both teams exchanging kills. Up 5-2, Jasuta had a strong outside kill. Benell had a service ace up 8-4. Benell had an assist to give Corbeil the kill to add a point. At 10-6, Albright got a middle kill. After strong blocking by Babson, the teams were tied at 10-10. Williams called a timeout down 11-10. Albright had a service ace to take the lead at 12-11.
Babson called a timeout with the Ephs holding onto the lead at 15-12. Corbeil dominated at the net with multiple kills from the right pin to maintain the lead. Babson called a timeout down by five at 20-15. Ultimately, Babson couldn't hang on and the Ephs won the fourth and final set 25-18.
3:00pm – Williams maintained their energy to defeat Springfield College (24-4, 8-1) in the afternoon in three straight sets (27-25, 25-20, 25-19). Williams put an end to Springfield's sixteen game win streak. The first set began with starters Ally Ostrow '19, Natalie Albright '20, Alex Newton '20, Tori Jasuta '17, Morgan Richman '19, Daiana Takashima '20 and libero Caitie Benell. Williams went on a run at 4-0 with kills by Jasuta and Albright. Springfield responded and rook the lead at 7-4 after multiple kills. Tied at 9-9, Ostrow had back-to-back kills from the outside. Jasuta had multiple service aces to give the Ephs the edge. Up 16-10, Corbeil had a kill from the right side.
Springfield called a timeout down by six at 18-12. Back on the court, Springfield went on a run to tie at 21-21 with the help of strong blockers. After ties at 22-22, 23-23, and 24-24, Corbeil gave the Ephs the edge at 25-24. Ostrow finished off the set with a kill and a service ace to win the first set 27-25. The second set began with multiple lead changes. Williams pushed ahead late in the second set after being tied at 18-18. Springfield called a timeout down by two at 21-
Back on the court, Jasuta had an outside kill. A kill by Richman ended the match as the Ephs won 25-20. Williams maintained a significant lead during the third set. Corbeil had many strong kills from the right side to help the Ephs. Ostrow had consecutive kills at 10-5 and 11-5. Jasuta had big outside kills at 14-9 and 15-9. Ultimately, the Ephs swept Springfield to win the third and final set 25-19 with the set scores 27-25, 25-20, 25-19.
Head Coach of the Ephs Christi Kelsey remarked on this weekend's tournament. She eplained the challenges of Friday night's match when she said, "We had a tough match last night against MIT but we still saw some pieces for our team that keep improving." Coach Kelsey also remarked on today's wins. She added, "I could not be more proud of this group in this moment. They played for each other and fed off one another's competitive drive and focus. Springfield and Babson are both strong teams in our region so it was awesome to put together back to back wins."
Coach Kelsey added enthusiasm looking toward the rest of the season. She stated, "This was an awesome weekend for our team and another step in our growing process this season."
The Ephs are looking forward to a week at home back in Chandler. Williams has a busy conference schedule next weekend. Williams plays Wesleyan (13-6, 5-3 in NESCAC) on Friday night at 8:00pm and Trinity College (10-11, 1-7 in NESCAC) on Saturday at 2:00pm.