Clinton, New York – Williams College (9-3, 2-0 NESCAC) traveled to Clinton, New York to take on Hamilton College (7-4, 1-1 NESCAC) in each team's second NESCAC matchup of the year. A close first set proved to be the deciding factor in the set as the Ephs used this momentum to sweep the Continentals.
In the first set, a 14-14 tie was broken by the Ephs with a kill from senior Natalie Albright. From here, Williams capitalized on two Hamilton errors and an ace from Natalie Albright to push the lead to 17-14. Although Hamilton forced two Williams errors and narrowed the score to one, Williams collected themselves and used three Hamilton errors and a double block from freshman Anna Tosolini and senior Erin Denham to expand the gap to Williams up 21-16. However, the Continentals took a timeout and then proceeded to surge back into the set and were able to tie the score at 23-23. This charge was led by Hamilton junior Emma Parkhurst with three dynamic kills. The Ephs took a quick timeout and then utilized a kill from freshman Christina Conforti, a Hamilton error, and a double block by Natalie Albright and Christina Conforti to prevail in the set, 26-24.
The second set was very back and forth as Hamilton refused to go away and jumped out to an early 7-3 lead over Williams. Hamilton senior Giuliana Rankin led this run with three kills. Although Hamilton held a lead over Williams, the Ephs were determined to stay in the set, and a kill from Natalie Albright reversed the momentum. Four Hamilton errors and a service ace from Natalie Albright brought Williams back into the set and gave them the lead 13-11. It was a battle between both teams with five more ties, but the 17-17 tie was broken by a Hamilton error to put the Ephs up 18-17. Hamilton then took a timeout, but Williams freshman Gracie Guidotti responded with a powerful service ace. From here, Williams never looked back to surge to the 25-20 victory.
Williams was confident going into the third set and firing on all cylinders. The Ephs built a 10-7 lead a kill from Erin Denham, a kill from Olivia Hindy, two kills from Anna Tosolini, and a service ace from Natalie Albright. Hamilton could not get a handle on a run, and the Ephs maintained control for the duration of the set. Another Williams run created a 17-10 lead, which was the biggest lead of the match, and was highlighted by dominating kills from Olivia Hindy and junior Lauren Barry. Williams was beginning to cruise away and looked to seal the set when Giuliana Rankin had an incredible dig to keep Hamilton's hopes alive, with Williams up 24-15. Continental Emma Parkhurst and junior Dorothy Poucher teamed up for a double block to further build the momentum, and Hamilton managed to go on a three-point run but came up short. Williams was ultimately victorious, 25-19. Hamilton leaders were: Giuliana Rankin with thirteen kills, sophomore Jo Dine with twenty-seven assists, and junior Nikki Matsuoka and senior Kendall Searcy with ten digs each. Williams leaders were: Olivia Hindy with nine kills, senior Alexandra Newton with twelve assists, and senior Daiana Takashima with nine digs.
Head coach Christi Kelsey remarked, "It was nice to get our second conference win tonight against a very solid Hamilton team. We had some folks really step up tonight in their roles which was nice to see. Overall, our team responded in a great way to some challenges throughout the course of the match. It will be nice to have the weekend off from competition, so we can recover and prepare for the next round of NESCAC play next weekend!"
The Ephs are back in action on Friday, October 4th against Bowdoin at 8:00 PM EDT and Saturday, October 5th at 2:00 EDT against Tufts.