Williamstown, MA – For their first conference matchup, Williams College (8-2, 1-0 NESCAC) took on Trinity College (4-4, 0-1 NESCAC). This also marked the first home match of the year for Williams, and the Ephs were victorious, defeating the Bantams in three sets, with the deciding factor being the second set.
The second set proved to be the momentum factor as it was an intense set filled with powerful swings, dominating blocks, and incredible hustle. Play began with Williams building an 8-3 lead behind the serving of sophomore Lydia Kurtz. From here, the Ephs looked to be in control, but the Bantams were determined to fight. Trinity chipped away at the Williams lead with small rallies, capitalizing on Williams errors and a kill from Trinity senior Wyllie Boughton, a kill from sophomore Ally Conde, and a kill from sophomore Hareena Johnson. The key run for Trinity included a service ace from Hareena Johnson, a kill from Ally Conde, and a kill from junior Jessica Yang. This gave Trinity the 22-21 lead, and Williams was forced to recollect themselves. Eph junior Lauren Barry had a clutch tip to tie the set at 23-23, and from here, Williams collected themselves. A Trinity error and a double block from Williams sophomore Olivia Hindy and freshman Kiley Wallace gave the Ephs the 26-24 victory.
In the first set, Williams jumped out to an early 7-1 lead behind the serving of Lydia Kurtz. This run utilized four Trinity errors, a kill from Lydia Kurtz, a kill from Olivia Hindy, and a kill from Erin Denham. After this point, Williams maintained control for the rest of the set, and strong serving from junior Allison Frison and senior Alexandra Newton allowed for large Eph runs and helped propel Williams to the 25-11 win. Trinity was highlighted with two kills from senior Wyllie Boughton.
Head coach Christi Kelsey commented: "We were really appreciative of the crowd and the fact that we had so much support tonight for the first home match. That really meant a lot to the team and to us coaches. We got the first home jitters out, and we put together a solid, consistent night. It was great to get a first NESCAC win against a solid Trinity team with a lot of great athletes."For a match victory, Williams was looking to ride the momentum from the second set through the third and was able to do just that. Intelligent, aggressive serving from senior Daiana Takashima, and her two aces, contributed to an early Williams 9-1 lead. Allison Frison continued her pattern of strong serving along with a kill each from Lydia Kurtz and Lauren Barry to help the Ephs go on six-point run to further extend the lead, 18-3. Trinity began to threaten by responding with small rallies. Bantam freshman Paola Matos had two aces to contribute to this along with four Williams errors, a kill from freshman Molly Bernstein, a kill from senior Colette Scheffers, and a kill from Wylie Boughton. This narrowed the Williams lead to 21-12, but Williams did not falter and utilized a kill from Lydia Kurtz to reset the mindset. A sneaky dump by Williams Alexandra Newton pushed the Ephs lead to 23-14, and Williams then coasted to the 25-15 victory. Trinity leaders were: Wyllie Boughton with six kills, Jessica Yang with sixteen assists, and Colette Scheffers with fifteen digs. Williams leaders were: Lydia Kurtz with eleven kills, Alexandra Newton with twenty assists, and Daiana Takashima with twenty digs.
The Ephs are back in action on Saturday, September 21st when they travel to Roger Williams University for a match at 1:00 PM EDT.