Lewiston, ME –– The Ephs (7-9, 3-4 in NESCAC) continued their weekend on the road with a Saturday afternoon match against Bates (7-8, 1-5 in NESCAC). Last night, the Ephs played Colby in Waterville, ME and won in three sets (25-21, 25-17, 25-16). On Saturday afternoon, the Ephs played Bates and won in an exciting five set match (19-25, 17-25, 25-18, 25-22, 15-10).
The Ephs bounced back from a two set deficit to win the match in five sets. The starters for the Ephs were Alex Newton, Natalie Albright, Allison Frison, Erin Denham , Tess Richman, Roxi Corbeil, and libero Daiana Takashima. Tied at 1-1, Corbeil got a kill with an assist from Newton. Bates took the lead up 4-1 after a big block. Down by two at 5-3, Tess Richman and Morgan Richman teamed up for a cohesive block to narrow the Ephs deficit. Down by one at 6-5, Weinland got a kill with an assist from Newton. Tied at 8-8, Weinland got a kill. Both teams remained tied and the Ephs got a point at 9-9 with a kill by Corbeil. At 12-12, Denham got a kill with an assist from Newton. Tied at 17-17, Morgan Richman earned a kill with an assist by Corbeil. Bates pushed ahead late in the set and took the lead at 21-19 after a service error. Bates won the first set 25-19 after multiple attack errors by the Ephs.
The second set began with a strong early lead and consistent hitting by the Ephs. Ostrow had multiple kill to boost the Ephs lead up 4-1. At 5-2, Newton got a kill with an assist by Frison. Bates took control and went on a run to take the lead at 6-3 after multiple kills. The Ephs trailed Bates for much of the set. Down by five at 16-11, Corbeil got a kill to help the Ephs narrowed the deficit. Down 19-14, Ostrow got a kill. Bates had strong offensive action to maintain their lead. Down 24-17, Corbeil got a kill with an assist from Newton. However, Bates kept up their lead to win the second set 25-17.
The third set was a must-win for the Ephs and an opportunity for Bates to clinch the game. Tied at 5-5, Weinland got a kill with an assist from Newton. At 6-5 and 7-5, Corbeil and Weinland added kills to maintain the Ephs edge. Bates pushed back to narrow their deficit within one at 11-10. At 14-11, Ostrow got a kill with an assist from Newton. Tied at 15-15, Bates earned a service ace. At 19-15, Denham got a kill with an assist from Newton. Williams took control of the energy and pushed the pace. Denham earned multiple kills to maintain the Ephs lead. Ultimately, the Ephs persevered to take the third set 25-18.
The pressure was still on the Ephs in the fourth set as they hoped to push the match to five sets. Ostorw had back-to-back kills to give the Ephs the edge at 4-3. At 8-7, Albright got a kill. At 15-15, things were still tied as the tension between the teams was building. Denham was explosive at the net with three kills in a row at 16-15, 17-16, and 18-15. Bates then called a timeout to put a pause in the match. Back from the timeout, Denham got another kill. At 23-20 Alex Newton got a kill with an assist by Allison Frison. Denham got a kill at match point and the Ephs took home the set 25-20.
Bates took an early lead up 2-0 at the start of the fifth winner-takes-all set. The Ephs came out strong and were up 3-2 after a kill by Ostrow. At 6-4, Takashima earned an ace. Denham had back-to-back kills to grown the Ephs lead to 8-4. Bates then called a timeout. Back, from the timeout Takashima still had possession of the serve and earned another ace. Up 11-5, Denham earned another kill. At 13-8, Ostrow got a kill. Ostrow earned a kill at match point and the Ephs took home the fifth set 15-10 after bouncing back from a two set deficit.
Head Coach of the Ephs Christi Kelsey remarked on today's match. She explained, "This was probably our best example yet this season of total team effort and true grit! Bates did an outstanding job in really controlling the first two sets and challenging us on both sides of the ball offensively and defensively. We are so proud of the way our crew stuck together and kept fighting to earn the 3rd set then took control of the 4th. After that we just played with a ton of poise and confidence in each other."
Coach Kelsey added that she was proud of the team's effort this weekend. She exclaimed, "Absolutely awesome weekend from everyone on our team to pull out 2 NESCAC wins!"
The Ephs are home this week after multiple weeks on the road for an exciting weekend of NESCAC play. In Chandler on Friday night at 8:00PM the Ephs will battle Trinity College (6-7, 0-5 in NESCAC). On Saturday afternoon, the Ephs will face off against rival Amherst (11-6, 2-4 in NESCAC) at 1:00PM.