Clinton, NY –– The Ephs (4-5, 1-2 NESCAC) traveled to Clinton, New York in a Friday night match-up against NESCAC opponent Hamilton College (4-2, 2-1 NESCAC). This was the Continentals'season home opener.
The young Ephs are being led early in the season by the sophomore trio Natalie Albright, Erin Denham, and Alex Newton. Albright is fifth in the NESCAC with her hitting percentage of .318%, Denham's 3.63 kills per set is fifth in the NESCAC, and Newton is second in the NESCAC with 9.74 assists per set.
The starters for the Ephs were Ally Ostrow, Alex Newton, Natalie Albright, Erin Denham, Tess Richman, and Roxi Corbeil and libero Daiana Takashima. The first set began with back-and-forth energy. At 3-3, Ostrow got a kill with an assist from Newton. Hamilton took an early lead with a five-set run up 8-3. The Ephs rallied back after kills from Denham and Albright. Tied 9-9, Hamilton called a timeout to talk things over.
Back from the timeout, Morgan Richman earned a kill to give the Ephs the edge at 10-9. Both teams were tied at 12-12 after an ace from Hamilton. The Ephs took the lead at 16-13 after a kill by Ostrow. Hamilton swayed the pace of the game to tie things up 18-18. Williams called their first time out of the match with the game tied up.
Back from the timeout, Hamilton took the lead 23-20. Ultimately, Hamilton won the first set 25-21. The second set began with both teams hoping to push forward at 5-5. The Ephs pushed ahead with strong hitting and kills by Weinland and Corbeil. Hamilton called a timeout at 9-5. Back from the timeout the Ephs maintained their lead with a kill at 13-9. Hamilton called another timeout down by four at 17-13. Both teams showcased strong offensive skills at the Ephs maintained their lead at 22-20. Both teams were tied at 23-23 when Williams called a timeout. Back from the timeout, Tess Richman got a kill to give the Ephs the edge. Alex Newton got a kill to give the Ephs the second set at 25-23.
The third set started off with the Ephs taking an early lead at 11-6 after a kill by Ostrow. Hamilton then called a timeout. Back from the timeout, the Ephs maintained their lead after back-to-back service aces by Alicia Blanco. The Ephs were up 19-11 after a service ace by Morgan Richman. Hamilton called another timeout. Ostrow got a kill up by 7 at 20-13. However, Hamilton edged back in and narrowed the Ephs' lead to 23-19 after multiple kills. The Ephs fought back to win the third set 25-21.
The fourth set gave the Ephs the opportunity to take the game. The Ephs took an early lead up 8-4 after a kill by Newton. Up 14-12, Ostrow got a kill. Hamilton closed the gap to tie things up at 15-15. Tied at 18-18, Ostrow got a kill. At 21-21 Weinland got a kill off of an assist by Newton. Hamilton pushed ahead after multiple attack errors by the Ephs. Hamilton won the first set 25-22 to put the match into five sets.
The fifth set began with the Ephs taking the lead at 3-2 after a kill by Newton. Hamilton took the edge up 5-3 after multiple kills. Hamilton maintained their lead up 11-5. Ultimately, Hamilton continued the energy with strong offensive skills and won the fifth set and the match 15-8.
The Ephs continue their weekend with a Saturday tournament at the Ramapo Invitational with a double-header against host Ramapo at 11:00 AM and New York University at 1:00 PM.