Williamstown, MA – The Ephs (13-10, 6-4 in NESCAC) continued their last weekend of regular season play with a Saturday afternoon match against Trinity College (Conn.) (10-13, 1-9 in NESCAC). Last night, the Ephs suffered a tough five-set loss to Wesleyan (15-7, 6-4 in NESCAC) after holding a two-to-none set lead (25-20, 25-21, 23-25, 15-25, 17-19). Trinity was in Amherst, MA last night where lost to Amherst (15-8, 6-3 in NESCAC) in three sets (17-24, 17-25, 20-25). Going into post-season play, Tufts currently stands alone at the top of the conference with a perfect 9-0 NESCAC record and a 21-2 overall record. Middlebury follows close behind with 7-2 in NESCAC and 15-7 overall. With many of the conference teams boasting strong conference record, this weekend is the final opportunity to improve NESCAC standings.
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. Jasuta started things off will tricky serves and Corbeil earned a right side kill at 2-0. Ostrow earned an outside kill to maintain the Eph's lead. Both teams had strong plays and showcased long rallies. Daiana Takashima '20 entered to serve at 4-2. Up 6-2, Ostrow had line kill as Takashima continued with strong serves. Albright got a kill with strong setting by Newton. Trinity called a timeout down by five at 7-2. Back on the court, Jasuta displayed her defensive skills with big digs from the back row. Ostrow also worked hard in the back row to set up Jasuta for a kill up 9-4.
Jasuta had an outside kill that trickled over the net to maintain the lead at 10-6. Trinity had strong outside kills to narrow their deficit. Richman attacked from the right side and the Ephs stayed focused during a long exchange with tips from both teams that ended in a kill by Jasuta. Corbeil hit through the Trinity double block at 12-8. Jasuta hit to line to add a point for Williams. Trinity called another timeout at 13-8. Back from the timeout, Newton showcased her fast jump serve. Trinity rallied back with a service ace narrowing to one at 13-12. Trinity took the lead at 14-13, and Williams called their first timeout of the set.
Trinity had fast-paced attacks to grow their lead. Richman tipped in the middle to add a point down one at 16-15. Trinity had a big block against the Williams left pin. Corbeil attacked as the Ephs still trailed at 18-17. Corbeil powered past the blockers at 20-18. Ostrow had a precise dig to set up Jasuta down 23-19. Erin Denham '20 entered for the Ephs and earned an outside kill at 24-20. Trinity took the first set 25-20.
The second set began with the Ephs hoping to pick things up and even out the set scores. Ostrow had a back row attack to help the Ephs take the early lead 1-0. Jasuta followed through for a kill at 2-0. Albright demonstrated consistent serves. Corbeil had a cross-court attack from the right pin. Up 6-1, Trinity called their first timeout of the set. Newton started things back up with a float serve. Ostrow had a cross-court kill from the outside at 9-3. Trinity showed scrappy defense but ultimately Corbeil earned a kill from the middle as the lead grew to 10-3. Jasuta attacked from the back row after a serve by Takashima. Ostrow tipped from the left pin but Trinity got the kill from the outside at 11-7. Ostrow had a quick line kill to keep up the energy. Newton and Albright worked together for a double block but Trinity took home the kill at 12-8.
The Ephs grew their lead and Trinity called a timeout down by seven at 15-8. At 16-9, Jasuta had a cross-court kill from the outside. Richman worked off of a Trinity overpass to get a kill at 17-9. Newton followed with a service ace. Corbeil attacked from the left pin and tipped over a Trinity free ball to grab a point. With a slick set by Newton, Corbeil added a kill from the right side. Jasuta covered on defense and the Ephs worked hard to keep the ball up to give Ostrow an outside kill. Jasuta continued with level float serves. Williams won the second set 25-13.
The Ephs started the third set with high spirits and good communication. Ostrow had a service ace at 1-0. Albright attacked an overpass to tie at 3-3. Jasuta had a fast cross-court kill to give the Ephs the edge. Trinity took back the lead at 5-4 after a service ace. Jasuta earned a line kill. The Ephs won a long rally up 7-6 after multiple attacks from the right pin by Corbeil. Trinity called a timeout down by four at 10-6. With the ball back in play, the Ephs were hoping to push through the third set. Newton continued to dish out consistent jump serves. Jasuta got a service ace as the Ephs lead 14-8. Takashima entered to serve up 16-11. Trinity called a timeout down by six at 17-11. Back on the court, Ostrow tipped to add a point. Takashima had a back row kill up 19-11 as she continued to serve.
Up 20-13, Albright got a middle kill. Ostrow showed strong serve receive but Trinity responded with the kill. Benell provided a direct dig to Newton who set up Jasuta for the outside kill at 23-16. Williams won the third set 25-17 after a line kill by Jasuta. The fourth set was the Ephs opportunity to take home the match. Trinity took up an early lead 2-0. Denham had a cross-court attack at 4-3. Ostrow tipped to add a point down 5-4. Trinity maintained their narrow lead at 7-5. Jasuta had a line kill at 9-7. Bouncing back, Richman provided good block coverage to help Jasuta tie things up with a kill at 9-9.
Williams took back the lead at 10-9. Jasuta tipped after a rally with attacks by both sides still up by one. Newton got a service ace at 12-10. Trinity called a timeout down by two. Back on the court, the Ephs pushed forward and Jasuta powered through the block to add a point. Denham tipped to keep up the lead. Jasuta attacked from the back row but Trinity snatched the point down by two at 14-12. Ostrow attacked to line at 15-15. The Ephs edged back in to take the lead. Trinity had a big double block to tie at 16-16. Williams kept the edge at 19-18. Both teams were fighting back and fourth with the fate of a potential fifth set hanging in the balance. Newton worked with an overpass to hammer down a point. Trinity called a timeout down by two at 21-19. Trinity pushed back with a kill at 21-20.
Trinity took back the lead at 22-21 after a quick tip in the middle. Williams called a timeout now trailing by two at 23-21. Back on the court, the next two points proved to be critical. Denham had a sharp cross-court attack but Trinity took home the point after an attack error by the Ephs. After a setting error, Trinity won the fourth set 25-21. The fifth set was a winner-takes-all battle from the start. Albright blocked the Trinity hitter to grab the first point. Trinity earned kill to take back the lead at 2-1. Jasuta powered through the block tied at 2-2. Trinity responded with a kill to give them the edge. Jasuta and Richman teamed up for the block tied up at 3-3. Trinity tipped to lead at 4-3. Corbeil attacked from the outside tied at 4-4. Williams took back the edge at 5-4. Trinity called a timeout with the Ephs up by two at 6-4.
With both teams hoping to race ahead, Jasuta had a big float serve. Newton had a skilled back serve to support Corbeil with the right side kill at 8-4. The Ephs lead at the lead change hoping to continue the momentum. Trinity called a timeout down by four. Jasuta continued with consistent serves. Jasuta jumped up for a back row attack and ultimately Ostrow took home the kill at 9-4. Ostrow hammered down a kill up 11-4. Trinity responded with a tricky tip at 11-6. Corbeil energized Chandler with a fast-paced kill from the right pin off of a precise set from Newton. Benell showcased strong digs as Ostrow went after the attack. Corbeil powered through the block up 13-17. Takashima entered to serve for the Ephs. Ostrow had multiple attacks and Newton dumped it over to continue the rally. Trinity rallied back to narrow the score to 14-10. Jasuta had an outside kill to give the Ephs the win 15-10. The set scores were 20-25, 25-13, 25-17, 21-25, 15-10.
Head Coach of the Ephs remarked on entering post-season play. She noted, "As for this match, I was happy that our team grinding out our 6th conference win of the year and fought hard to end our last match of the regular season on a high note. Our conference this year has been fun to watch and be a part of as any given night, any one can win as teams are so well-matched."
Going into the NESCAC Tournament she added, "Our conference tournament is going to just mirror the regular season in that way. Lots of great matchups and volleyball to be played and all eight teams have a shot to be the last one standing on next Sunday. Our team is excited about the opportunity to keep playing and are looking forward to next weekend in Boston."
The Ephs' (13-10, 6-4 in NESCAC) first game of the post-season is the NESCAC Quarterfinals hosted by one seed Tufts (22-2, 10-0 in NESCAC). Williams, seeded fifth in the tournament, will take on fourth seed Bowdoin (14-9, 6-4 in NESCAC) on Friday, November 4th at 8pm at Tufts.