Homecoming weekend was, for the most part, a successful one for the women’s volleyball squad. Despite losing an important game to NESCAC foe Trinity, the women posted big wins over non-conference opponents Babson and Western New England College. On Friday at home, volleyball suffered a tight loss to NESCAC rival Trinity, who bested Wes in a close game 3-2 (15-25, 25-18, 25-22, 22-25, 11-15).
As with the other contests of the day, there was a large crowd—Silloway Gym was packed with an estimated 200 students, parents, and alumni who showed up to see the Cards do battle with the Bantams from Hartford. The contest got off to a rough start, with a quick first set falling in favor of the Bantams. Wes came back with impressive play in the next two sets to take the match lead, two sets to one.
At this point, the game looked as if it could go either way, but, unfortunately, the Bantams had more left in the tank than they had let on in the first few sets, and managed to squeak by Wes in a close fourth set and close out the match in the deciding fifth. Casey Reed ’12 set her single season high water mark for kills in a game with 21, and Laura Yim ’13 did the same with assists, as she racked up 46 in the lengthy contest. The team was led in blocks by Laura Volgenau ’13 with four, and senior Lesley Falkner ’11 played a stellar game, contributing 12 kills in the final NESCAC home game of her career.
After a disappointing result from a great effort, many teams might have let play drop in quality, but Wes made sure to come back strong after a bad result, posting two straight set wins the very next day against Babson College (25-20, 25-16, 25-17) and Western New England College (25-17, 25-19, 25-23). The WNEC game came first, and Wesleyan made short work of them. The offense was rolling throughout the day and Casey Reed set the tone for the day, pumping out 15 kills in a quick three set game out of 41 attempts, for a high hitting average of .293. She was helped out with a number of kill contributors including Lesley Faulkner ’11 (seven), Monica Leslie ’14 (six), AlissaSantucci ’12 (five), and Kim Farris ’14 (five). Setter Laura Yim again collected an extremely high number of assists with 36.
After an offensive explosion against WNEC, Wesleyan kept the momentum rolling with another cruise to the finish over Babson. Yim upped her assist total on the day to 74 by adding another 38. Casey Reed again led in kills with 13, but a more balanced attack saw high totals also posted by Farris, Falkner, and Santucci, who had nine, nine, and eight kills respectively. Defensively, senior Ruby Hernandez ’11 led everyone with 16 digs to go along with her 12 from the previous game, giving her a daily team high of 28.
While Saturday provided convincing wins for the home crowds, Wes has yet to do such a thing against a strong NESCAC opponent. With time running out, and a 1-8 NESCAC record, the Volleyball team must prove their mettle in important games in the home stretch.
These weekend games were the last ones at home of the year for the Cardinals, who will attempt to close out the season strong and improve upon the 7-12 record they now carry. The first of the remaining games will be against Eastern Connecticut on Wednesday. After that the push for the playoffs will come down to how Wesleyan fares in their final two regular season matches against NESCAC rivals Bates and Colby, neither of whom pose an insurmountable threat to Wes. With two middling opponents standing between Wes Volleyball and a NESCAC playoff berth, the fate of Wesleyan’s postseason status is in their own hands.