WILLIAMSTOWN, MA -- Christi Kelsey's Williams volleyball team (11-11/5-5 NESCAC) is seeded seventh in the NESCAC Tournament, which begins Friday in Medford, Mass., on the campus of Tufts University. The Ephs are matched up with second se3eded Wesleyan in the first round of the tourney. Williams and Wesleyan will play at 5:00 p.m. and all of the NESCAC Tournament matches maybe seen online HERE.
Wesleyan (18-5, 8-2 NESCAC) is making back-to-back trips to the NESCAC Championship for the first time since the 2009 and 2010 seasons. The Cardinals are the No. 2 seed for the third time in program history. Wesleyan will try to advance to the semifinals for the first time since 2008 as it pursues its first NESCAC title. The Cardinals lead the league in kills per set (12.99) and are averaging 17.42 digs per set this season. Wesleyan and Bowdoin finished with identical 8-2 conference records. In head-to-head competition, the Cardinals defeated the Polar Bears, 3-0, on Friday to earn the No. 2 seed.
Amherst, Middlebury, and Williams all finished with matching 5-5 NESCAC records. They all posted 1-1 marks against each other in head-to-head competition. After comparing set records, Amherst went 5-4, Middlebury was 5-5, and Williams went 4-5. Amherst earned the No. 5 seed, followed by Middlebury at No. 6 and Williams at No. 7.
The Ephs, who own nine NESCAC Championships, have appeared in every NESCAC Championship since 1999 and last won a NESCAC title in 2014. Williams closed out the regular season winning four of its last five NESCAC matches. Wesleyan defeated Williams, 3-0, in the conference opener for both teams on September 15. The Ephs own a 3-0 advantage over the Cardinals in the postseason series, they last met in the 2004 quarterfinals with Williams recording a 3-0 victory.
"We are excited about the upcoming weekend and the opportunity to head into the post season., said Kelsey. "The NESCAC regular season matches have all been battles across the conference this year and we expect our championship to be no different. It will make for some exciting volleyball for all three days this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Tufts."
"We are staying in the moment and focusing on just the next match ahead of us on Friday.," added Kelsey. "All season we have pushed this crew to be locked in on how we can get better every day regardless of who our next opponent might be. Wesleyan has put together a tremendous season for sure and you have to give them a lot of credit for what they have done this year. It will be a challenge as has been every match we have played this year, but we love where our team is right now mentally and physically. We look forward to the opportunity to compete on Friday!"