Williamstown, MA – Williams (6-2, 2-1 NESCAC) brought conference play to their home floor with a match against Hamilton College (2-5, 0-3 NESCAC).
Williams came ready to serve in the first set. Senior Morgan Richman's intelligent serves gave the Ephs a three-point lead. Then, Williams sophomore Alicia Blanco built on this for a four-point run to push the Williams lead to 12-5. From here, Williams never looked back and utilized dominant kills from all to win 25-12. The Williams leader from this set was senior Tess Richman with four kills. Hamilton was highlighted by three kills by senior Claire Kitz.
The second set was played in a back and forth affair. Hamilton freshman Kendall Boxe had a powerful kill to tie the set at 10-10. Using this momentum, Hamilton went on a three-point run behind two errors and an ace by sophomore Kayla Self. Williams had to battle back, and the set was played very tightly. Williams was highlighted by blocks by Olivia Hindy and smart kills by sophomore Lauren Barry. This was not enough as Hamilton sophomore Dorothy Poucher had a timely block to extend the Hamilton lead to 20-17 and followed this up with two powerful kills to prove Hamilton with the energy needed for a victory of 25-18.
In the third set, Williams was looking to bounce back and did just that. The key momentum shift was a dominating kill by Tess Richman followed up by a block from her and junior Alex Newton. This gave the Ephs the 8-5 lead, and Williams used this energy to go on a run. Dynamic aces from Tess Richman, Alicia Blanco, and Alex Newton helped propel the Ephs to a lead of 19-9. Hamilton closed the gap by capitalizing on Williams errors and the energy from a kill by Claire Kitz. However, Hamilton never got closer than four points, and Williams won the third set 25-19.
The Ephs were trying to close out the night with a victory in the fourth set and were able to do so. The set was tied at 13-13 when the Ephs capitalized on three errors and a kill by Olivia Hindy to lead 17-14. Another powerful kill by senior Roxi Corbeil provided additional energy to the Ephs, and this was the force needed for Williams to win 25-21. Hamilton was highlighted by nine kills from Claire Kitz and Dorothy Poucher, fourteen assists from sophomore Emma Parkhurst and twenty-one digs from both Emma Parkhurst and sophomore Nikki Matsuoka. Williams was highlighted by ten kills from Tess Richman and Roxi Corbeil, thirty-eight assists from Alex Newton, and twenty-four digs from junior Daiana Takashima.
Regarding tonight's performance, Head Coach, Christi Kelsey, explained, "For adjustments after the second set, we had some small things in terms of what we wanted our systems to look like offensively and defensively. The girls went back to what worked in the first set and doing that stuff a little bit more efficiently and a little bit better. In the second set, Hamilton made some good adjustments, so it was good to see our group adjust back and then try to keep the momentum going for the third and fourth set. We have the opportunity to go out of region this weekend which will be a good test for us, and for that, we are working on getting better at some good pieces every day. There were a lot of good things tonight, and it was nice to get the second conference win of the year."
Williams plays next on September 21st and 22nd at the Illinois Wesleyan Invitational. The Ephs will play two games on the 21st at 5:00 P.M. CDT against Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and 7:30 P.M. EDT against Millikin University.