Wesleyan volleyball took the second seed in the NESCAC tournament this weekend, closing out their regular season and proving themselves once again to be one of Wesleyan’s most successful fall teams. The Cards went 20-6 overall, and 8-2 in conference play.
“We’ve had a really strong season,” said co-captain Lisa Drennan ’09. “Everyone is playing really well and playing together. Right now we are just really excited to start post-season play.”
Wesleyan suffered one of its two conference losses this past Friday against number one ranked Tufts University. The Jumbos had been undefeated in the NESCAC all season, dominating most opponents, and losing just nine total sets in their eight matches.
Wesleyan kept the game close, however, and never gave Tufts much room to breathe. They lost the first two sets by just three points, then came back and won the third 25-22. Tufts proved too strong in the end, though, and won the fourth and final set 25-21. Their team caused Wesleyan to make 19 errors, far more than their usual consistent play allows. The loss dashed any hopes for the Cardinals to be seeded number one in the NESCAC tournament.
The disappointment from the Tufts loss faded the following afternoon, however, as Wesleyan pummeled third seeded Amherst College to ensure a second-place finish. The Cardinals had already beaten the Lord Jeffs a month earlier 3-2, and seemed primed to repeat their performance. After losing the first set 21-25, the Cardinals trailed in the second set 14-12, before they hit their stride and went on a 7-0 spree. Everything was uphill from that point onward, as the Cards won the set and went on to capture the next two, winning 25-17, 25-19, and 25-20.
Offensive leader Drennan racked up 22 kills in the game with a more impressive .429 hitting percentage. Ashley Farrow ’10 added to the cause with 15 kills of her own and a .444 percentage, while co-captain Ellie Healy ’10 contributed 50 assists on the day. On the defensive side, Ruby Hernandez was solid with 24 digs.
Wesleyan will head to Medford, MA this weekend for the NESCAC tournament, held at Tufts. There they will open up on Friday against seventh-seeded Bowdoin, who they breezed by in three straight sets a few weeks ago. If they win, Wesleyan will play the winner of Amherst-Conn. Colleg—wo more teams that have yet to beat the Cards this seaso—n a semi-final on Saturday. The championship match, possibly a rematch with Tufts, is scheduled for Sunday.