Williamstown, MA – Looking at the records coming into the match, Williams College (8-7) was the underdog, but after two thrilling set victories, Williams utilized the momentum and stayed focused to force the sweep against opponent New Paltz (15-4).
Junior Natalie Albright started off Williams strong with a four-point serving run. Although this gave the Ephs the early lead, New Paltz senior Taylor Cimillo quickly brought New Paltz back into the set. This was a preview of the exciting, back and forth set to follow. New Paltz built a lead of 20-16 and was looking as though they were going to run away with the set when Williams junior Daiana Takashima stepped up to the service line. Behind her serving and two kills from freshman Lydia Kurtz, the Ephs got within one point of New Paltz. This was the energy needed for the Ephs to rally, and senior Morgan Richman's kill was the final energy boost needed for the Ephs to rally for the win 25-23.
In the second set, Williams built leads of three points only for New Paltz to creep back in. New Paltz's effort was led by Taylor Cimillo's five kills. Intelligent serves and powerful kills raised the energy for both teams as both sides scrapped for every point. To break the 18-18 tie, Williams junior Erin Denham and freshman Olivia Hindy both had dominating kills, and from here New Paltz only scored two points for the remainder of the match. The Ephs won 25-20 behind three kills from senior Mia Weinland down the stretch.
New Paltz was determined to not go away in the third set and built an early three-point lead. The Ephs were not discouraged and stayed focused in order to get back into the set. After a tightly played series of points, Daiana Takashima again served brilliantly for the Ephs and gave the Ephs the lead of 23-18. New Paltz then came within one point of Williams behind two kills from junior Madison Van Pelt, a kill from sophomore Julie Greenspan, and a kill from sophomore Demi Herasme. Williams buckled down, and again, Mia Weinland came up big with two ferocious kills to secure the victory 25-22. New Paltz leaders were: Madison Van Pelt with eleven kills, senior Meredith Dignan with twenty-eight assists, and sophomore Oliva D'Antonio with sixteen digs. Williams leaders were: Mia Weinland with fourteen kills, junior Alex Newton with thirty-eight assists, and Daiana Takashima with fourteen digs.
Head coach Christi Kelsey remarked, "Tonight's game was a great opportunity to see how our team would bounce back from the weekend. From start to finish, I thought we were focused and executed well from point to point. More importantly, I thought the team did a really good job of having fun and trusting in their skills and in each other even when the match got close or when New Paltz went on runs of three to four points. We are looking forward to another NESCAC weekend coming up!"
To finish out regular season home action, Williams plays next on Friday, October 5th at 8:00 P.M. against Colby and Saturday, October 6th at 2:00 P.M. against Bates.