Medford, MA – The Ephs (13-11, 6-5 in NESCAC) began their post-season battle against fifth-seed Bowdoin (15-9, 7-4 in NESCAC) in the NESCAC Quarterfinals hosted by one-seed Tufts (23-2, 10-0 in NESCAC). During the regular season, the Ephs beat Bowdoin away in Brunswick, ME at Bowdoin in a thrilling five sets (25-23, 16-25, 20-25, 25-23, 15-13). The starters for the Ephs were Ally Ostrow '19, Erin Denham '20, Roxi Corbeil '19, Natalie Albright '19, Morgan Richman '19, Alex Newton '20, and libero Caitie Benell '17. Bowdoin took an early lead 4-0 after multiple kills. Williams called their first timeout down by six at 7-1. The Ephs rallied back from the deficit to narrow to 7-4. Jasuta had a kill from the outside at 8-5. Down 10-6, Albright followed with a kill after a set by Newton. Jasuta had multiple kills at 11-7 and 11-9. Bowdoin pushed back to lengthen their lead at 16-9 and took control of the tempo. Williams called another timeout down by seven.
At 16-11, Jasuta got a kill from the outside. At 18-14, Ostrow had a kill with the assist by Newton. Williams went on a run down by four at 17-13. At 19-15, Ostrow had another kill. Daiana Takashima '20 entered to serve for the Ephs at 19-16. Bowdoin took a critical edge up 22-16. Ostrow had a service ace at 22-18. Jasuta got a kill at 23-19. Ultimately, Bowdoin took home the first set 25-19. There were no ties or lead changes during the first set as Bowdoin maintained the advantage during the entirety of the set.
The second set began the Ephs trailing after multiple kills by Bowdoin. The Ephs took a timeout down 5-0. Back from the timeout, Jasuta earned a point for the Ephs with a kill from the outside. Roxi Corbeil entered for the Ephs at 8-3. Corbeil earned a kill at 8-5 and Jasuta followed up with an outside kill. After a long rally with strong attacks by Jasuta and Corbeil, Bowdoin managed to take home the point. Takashima entered to serve for the Ephs down 11-8. At 12-9, Ostrow had an outside kill. Albright got a kill with an assist by Newton. Williams called their first timeout of the set down by six at 17-11. Jasuta responded back from the timeout with a kill from the left pin. At 18-13, Jasuta earned another kill. Bowdoin pushed to five at 20-14 hoping to clinch a crucial second set. Corbeil hammered home a kill from the right pin at 21-15. Denham subbed in for the Ephs at 23-18. Bowdoin continued to lead and powered through the second set to win 25-18.
The Ephs hung on in the third set and took an early lead 2-0 after kills by Corbeil and Jasuta. The first tie of the game occurred at 2-2 with Bowdoin taking the lead. At 4-3, Corbeil had a big kill from the right side. Bowdoin responded to tie at 5-5. Takashima entered to serve for the Ephs. Williams took back the edge at 6-5 but the game was tied again at 6-6. Ephs jumped on top again at 7-6 after a kill by Ostrow. Jasuta got a kill to lead by two. Tied up at 9-9, Jasuta continued to dominate for the Ephs and got another kill. Up 11-9, Takashima earned a point. Bowdoin called their first timeout of the match down by two at 13-11 after a big double block by Richman and Corbeil.
Back from the timeout, Jasuta got a block at 14-11. Corbeil had a kill to grow the lead at 15-11. Jasuta had a kill at 16-13, after a service ace by Bowdoin. Bowdoin earned a kill but the Ephs responded and grew the lead to 20-15. Bowdoin narrowed the deficit to 21-18. Williams then called a timeout. Back on the court, both teams were hoping to take the next critical points. After multiple attack errors by Bowdoin, the Ephs took the lead at 24-20. Bowdoin puts back to narrow at 24-23. Williams took a timeout to regroup. Back on the court, both teams were tied at 25-25. Corbeil got at kill at 26-25 and after a block by Bowdoin, Corbeil got another kill at 27-26. Ultimately, the Ephs took home the third set 28-26.
Both teams were locked in at the beginning of the four set. Jasuta and Richman had back to back kills at 4-3 and 4-4. Jasuta got a service ace to give the Ephs the edge. Jasuta continued to attack to grow the lead for the Ephs. The score remained tied at 11-11, 12-12, 13-13, and 14-14. Both teams were neck-and-neck and the Ephs were trying to force a fifth set. Williams called a timeout after a Bowdoin run as they took the lead 20-16. Back from the timeout, Ostrow and Jasuta had kills as the score narrowed to 21-19. Bowdoin called a timeout to talk things over. Bowdoin maintained their lead and Jasuta got a kill at Bowdoin match point 24-21. Bowdoin one the fourth and final set 25-21 to advance on to the NESCAC Semi-Finals. The set scores for the Ephs were 19-25, 18-25, 28-26, 21-25.
Coach Kelsey also wanted to mention the hard work that senior Co-Captains Tori Jasuta and Caitie Benell have put in over the past four years. She added, "A big note of thanks to our two seniors, Tori and Caitie for all that they have done for this program and our volleyball family. They have made quite the mark on this group for years to come and we have a very bright future ahead."