The volleyball team traveled to Trinity this past weekend to take on all three of their Maine NESCAC opponents. After icing Bowdoin on Friday in three straight sets, the Cardinals went on to beat Bates and Colby, 3-1 on Saturday, asserting their dominance in the conference.
“We came into the weekend ranked higher than all three of the teams that we played,” said middle-hitter Ashley Farrow ’10. “The challenge in playing these teams was focusing on maintaining our faster tempo of play against their slower pace.”
Co-captain Lisa Drennan ’09 thought the team generally lived up to these standards.
“While there were spurts that we played down to their level, overall we played our game and had lots of energy and remained consistent throughout the weekend,” Farrow said.
Wesleyan’s biggest victory came against Bowdoin, easily the best of the three teams. In the game, Drennan and Farrow led the offense with 16 and six kills, respectively. In addition, Drennan hit with a season-high .565 percentage and only had three errors throughout the match. Co-captain Ellie Healy ’10 also helped lead the team to victory, contributing 27 assists and 10 digs.
The next morning, the Cardinals faced off against Bates, whose sole NESCAC win had come off against Trinity the previous evening. Wesleyan started off strong, taking the first two sets 25-18 and 25-17. The Bobcats capitalized on a momentary lack of focus by the Cards, however, taking the third set, 25-21. Wesleyan was never actually in jeopardy of losing, though, and quickly turned it around in the fourth set to win the match.
Following the Bates game, the Cardinals turned right around to play their third match in less than 24 hours. Team members said that concentrating after two matches remained an issue throughout the third.
“It’s hard to play three games that close together because it takes a lot of focus, but we have the goal to be first in the conference this year and, to do that, we need a lot of focus,” Farrow said.
“We were definitely worn out by the third game but we were able to maintain energy throughout the day,” Drennan added. “It helped that we were able to come back home on Friday night and get a good night of sleep at Wesleyan before the Saturday game.”
This time, the Cards gave up their second set before coming back to win the last two. At the end of the weekend, Wesleyan secured second place in the NESCAC, improving their conference record to 7-1 (18-5 overall), and trailing only the undefeated Tufts Jumbos.
Wesleyan will head to Rhode Island on Thursday to take on RIC for a regional match before resuming NESCAC play at home against Tufts University on Friday night.
“We expect to come away with a win in three games against RIC,” Drennan said. “We saw them earlier in the year and are much stronger since then. We only have three games left this season and will be gaining momentum through to the end.”