Cambridge, MA – For the second day of play at the New England Challenge, Williams (12-10) played the first match against Springfield (20-5). A strong third set from Springfield was the key factor in Springfield defeating Williams in four sets.
The third set began with Springfield jumping to a four-point lead behind three Williams errors and a kill from Springfield freshman Ashley Tanner. Springfield capitalized on Williams errors, and although Williams went on a little run, Springfield had built enough of a lead to never let the set get closer than three points. For this set, Williams was led by senior Mia Weinland with four kills. Springfield won 25-20.
In the first set, Springfield and Williams played very tightly. Both teams built leads, but the other team would come storming back in to make things interesting. Springfield went up 17-11 over Williams behind a kill from sophomore Camryn Bancroft, freshman Sara Labadorf, and junior Katie vonKampen. Building off the grit from Friday, October 19th's performance, Williams dug deep and took the lead led by two Springfield errors, two kills from junior Erin Denham, two kills from freshman Lydia Kurtz, and a service ace from senior Roxi Corbeil. Although this gave the Ephs the one-point lead, Springfield refocused and their offensive power led them to a victory, 25-22.
Springfield led for most of the second set, but Williams would not quit. The Ephs utilized another mid-set rally to take the lead. All Williams players contributed to this overtaking, but Roxi Corbeil led the charge with three dominating kills. From here, Williams had enough energy to play loosely for the victory 25-23.
Springfield had a ton of energy going into the fourth set and quickly built a lead, 11-6, over Williams. This effort was led by three kills from senior Jen Donnelly. Williams tried to get back into the set and was able to come within a point of Springfield with the help of Mia Weinland's powerful kills, but Springfield was unaffected and cruised to the win, 25-21. Springfield leaders were: Jen Donnelly with twelve kills, Sara Labadorf with thirty-eight assists, and Jen Donnelly with nineteen digs. Williams leaders were: Mia Weinland with twelve kills, Roxi Corbeil with twenty-four assists, and sophomore Allison Frison with nineteen digs.
Williams College took on Babson (18-7) for the second match of the day, and an intense first set proved to be the deciding factor in Williams sweeping Babson.
The first set began with Williams taking a lead, 7-2; three Babson errors, a kill from freshman Olivia Hindy, a kill from senior Tess Richman, a kill from Roxi Corbeil, and a kill from Mia Weinland contributed to this. Babson fought to get back into the set and succeeded in knotting the score at 13-13. This battle between the two teams was only a preview for the rest of the set as both teams hustled all over the court, producing an electric environment. It was unclear for much of the set who was going to come out on top. Williams was unfazed by the kills down the stretch from Babson junior Kristin Carosotto and senior Shannon Roseen, and instead, Williams showed extreme calm and confidence in their own play to battle to win 30-28.
Williams was fired up in the second set and ready to build on the momentum from their big win in the first. However, Babson was determined to bounce back, and they utilized the serving of sophomore Cassidy Witten to build a five-point lead. Williams was not discouraged because they knew they could battle back if they focused on playing together. The Ephs did just that and went on a six-point run to bring them back into the set. From there, Williams was in the driver's seat, and nothing fazed the Ephs as they cruised to the victory 25-21.
In the third set, Williams was a force to be reckoned with. The Ephs forged to a lead of 19-7 behind five Babson errors, an ace from Alex Newton, a kill from Erin Denham, a kill from Olivia Hindy, two kills from Roxi Corbeil, and two kills from Mia Weinland. Babson, however, was not going away, and the serving of senior Abby Beecher closed the gap to four points. Williams took a timeout to regroup and was successful in refocusing to win 25-20. Babson leaders were: sophomore Allie Puccio with ten kills, junior Elizabeth Cameron with seventeen assists, and Cassidy Witten with nine digs. Williams leaders were: Roxi Corbeil with twelve kills, Alex Newton with twenty assists, and junior Daiana Takashima and Allison Frison with eleven digs each.
Eph senior Mia Weinland was named to the All-Tournament team.
Regarding the second day of play at New England Challenge, head coach Christi Kelsey shared, "Overall, we did some really nice things as a team today! We played hard against Springfield but lost a few points at critical times when Springfield made some key plays. I'm really proud of how the team came out and responded against Babson! From start to finish, they were gritty, focused, and played hard together. Even when there were some tight back and forth stretches, they really kept their composure and confidence to pull out the match."
Williams will travel to Middlebury on Saturday, October 27th to play at 2:00 P.M. to conclude regular season play.