At this weekend’s Trinity Invitational in Hartford, Conn., the Wesleyan women’s volleyball team opened its season with three straight victories. Conquering Salve Regina University 3-1, Eastern Connecticut State University 3-0, and Lasell College 3-1, the Cardinals head into NESCAC play this Friday with a 3-0 overall record.
In a close opening match against Salve Regina on Friday, Sept. 7, the team embarked on its winning streak thanks in large part to outside hitter Kim Farris ’14. Farris solidified her position as a go-to player, posting 19 kills and a .485 hitting average. Aside from Farris, Monica Leslie ’14 and Claire Larson ’15 both significantly helped to secure the Wes victory, with 10 kills and 29 assists, respectively.
After losing the first set 13-25, the team bounced back from an 18-24 deficit in the second set to win by a margin of two points. Wesleyan never looked back in the third set, cruising to a 25-18 victory without ever losing the lead. The fourth and final set, a back-and-forth battle, showcased the depth of talent that the Cardinals possess. The set was tied 20-20 before the team went on a four-point run behind Farris’ strong serving en route to a 25-22 win.
On Saturday morning, the Cardinals cruised to victory over Eastern Connecticut in three straight sets. Against Eastern, the Cardinals took advantage of their six-foot- plus front line of Farris, Leslie, and Laura Volgenau ’13. Farris once again led the team in kills with an even 10. Leslie and Abby Southam ’16 led the team in blocks, with five each. Larson also had a team-high 24 assists. New freshman talent Sofia Davila led the team in digs. The Cardinals proved their power by sweeping Eastern Connecticut in all areas, including besting the Warriors in aces by an 11-7 margin and committing only 15 errors to Eastern Connecticut’s 25.
In the third and final match of the weekend, the women’s volleyball team brought home another win, beating Lasell by a 3-1 margin. Davila once again led the team in digs with 12. Larson had an incredible 39 assists, helping the Cardinals clinch victory in the touch-and-go third set. Kate Centofanti ’14 led the team with a strong 16 kills.
This opening weekend, although the team did not compete against any prime NESCAC opponents, sets a strong tone for the season.
“We worked very hard in the preseason and it is really great to see all of our hard work put together,” Natalie Wildenradt ’15 said. “It’s also incredible to see what great cohesion our team has. Coming out of this weekend 3-0 definitely gives us the energy to focus on our first NESCAC weekend.”
Head Coach Gale Lackey also sees this weekend as a positive indication for good things to come for her team.
“I’m proud of the way our team regained composure and elevated their level of play throughout the weekend,” she said. “We got valuable contributions from many players. We went deep into our roster on a few sets and those players made a huge difference. We are looking forward to being in our home gym to start the conference schedule this Friday night.”
The Cardinals open NESCAC play this weekend at home in the Silloway Gym. On Friday, Sept. 14, the team will take on Middlebury and on Saturday, Sept. 15, the Cardinals will take on NESCAC and Little Three rival Williams.