Heading into the weekend, Wes volleyball was looking once again to raise their 4-4 record above the .500 mark against two tough NESCAC opponents. Unfortunately Tufts (5-0 conference record, 13-3 overall record, first in the NESCAC) and Bowdoin (5-0 conference record, 11-5 overall, tied for first in the NESCAC) had other plans for the weekend action. By playing against two of the league’s strongest teams in the same weekend, Wesleyan was providedwith the opportunity to test themselves. Despite losing both matches, the Cards proved that they are going to be competitive throughout the season, and that they should be able to make the NESCAC playoffs.
On Friday, Oct. 1 in Silloway gym, a packed crowd of 250 saw Wesleyan take on Bowdoin, the first of their two talented weekend opponents. By all accounts, it was a battle until the end.
Wes captured the first two sets in slim yet convincing fashion, but was unable to finish off a league-leading Bowdoin squad, falling in their first five-set match of the year 3-2 (20-25, 22-25, 25-20, 25-19, 15-11). Outside hitters Casey Reed ’12 and Alissa Santucci ’12 stood out for the Cards’ offense, registering 20 and eight kills respectively for over 60 percent of Wesleyan’s team kills on the day (46). Laura Yim ’13 continued her excellent play as of late, contributing 43 of the team’s 45 assists on the day.
The Cardinals’ service game was in top form as three players, Santucci, Ruby Hernandez ’11, and Kim Farris ’14, each racked up four service aces. The Cards had 15 service aces on the day—good enough for their second highest total in that category this year.
Coming off of a tough game against a stellar opponent, Wes hoped that the next day they would be able to capitalize on their chances and steal a win from league co-leaders, Tufts. Unfortunately, it appeared that the late game took a toll on the players, and a noticeably fatigued Wesleyan team took the floor against their second weekend opponents.
Tufts came into the game 4-0 in NESCAC play, fresh off of victories against Trinity and Connecticut College. What was expected to be a close game was not, and home field advantage proved not to make a difference as Tufts made short work of Wes in straight sets (25-12, 25-16, 25-16). The game was not nearly as close as its predecessor and proved that despite a strong showing against Bowdoin, Wesleyan still has work to do before the playoffs.
The Cardinals are currently tied for 7th in the NESCAC, a league where the top eight teams make the playoffs. So while making the playoffs is entirely possible, there is still room for improvement, especially if the women hope to make a deep playoff run.