Eastern Connecticut abruptly ended the volleyball team’s eight-game winning streak on Wednesday, sweeping the Cardinals in three straight sets, 25-22, 25-20, 25-11. The loss followed an impressive weekend that included two crucial NESCAC wins.
The Warriors seemed like clear favorites going into the match, with a remarkable record of 15-4 and a sixth place ranking in NESCAC, but Wesleyan was confident — possibly too confident.
“I think because of our record, we were starting to get a little bit cocky,” said co-captain Lisa Drennan ’09. “We didn’t come mentally prepared to play,”
Eastern Conn., on the other hand, played as if they had been concentrating on a win all week. Freshman middle hitter Kristianna Ibsen led both teams with 13 kills and an even more impressive attack percentage of .440 on the day. On Wesleyan’s end, Drennan led in kills with 10, while Ellie Healy ’10 contributed all 30 assists.
While the Cardinals boast a few standout individual players in both co-captains Healy and Drennan, a large part of their success this year has come from their depth and collaborative team play. However, in this match-up, the team collectively racked up 24 offensive errors, twice the number they committed in its victory over Trinity on Friday.
“Even though they played really well, there is no reason why we shouldn’t have beat them,” Drennan said. “Even so, I think it was important that this happened because it humbled us before an important NESCAC weekend.”
The Cardinals travel to Trinity on Saturday to take on NESCAC foes, Bowdoin and Colby. Bowdoin currently sits in the middle of the standings, having gone 2-2 in conference play, while Colby has yet to earn a NESCAC point.
“Despite the loss today, we are really excited to play this weekend and expect to come out with two wins as long as we stay focused and play our game,” Drennan said.