Volleyball Puts Up a Tough Fight Against NESCAC Rivals
In its first round of NESCAC play this weekend, the Wesleyan volleyball team suffered two heartbreaking losses to Middlebury and Little Three rival Williams.
Friday, Sept. 14 marked the team’s first home game against the Middlebury Panthers. The first set of the match was a constant back-and-forth battle. At a 16-16 stalemate, Middlebury pulled ahead with a 7-2 run, only to have the Cardinals come right back with a 7-1 run of their own. It was unfortunately the Panthers who pulled through, winning in the final moments by a tight 27-25 margin.
Unlike the closely contested first set, Middlebury dominated early on in the second. The Cardinals fought hard though, coming back from a 20-13 deficit. It was too little too late, however, as Wesleyan lost in the final moments 25-23.
The beginning of the third set belonged to the Cardinals, but the Panthers came back to tie it up at 23. Going point for point with Middlebury over the next two serves, the Cardinals ultimately succumbed to a strategic kill from the Panthers’ front line, dropping the final set 29-27.
Although falling 3-0, the Cardinals were not without their stars in the opening round of NESCAC play. Junior talent Kim Farris once again led the team with 10 kills and three aces, while Laura Volgenau ’13 had eight kills. Sophomore Claire Larson had an impressive 27 assists, while freshman standout Sofia Davila had 16 digs and three aces.
On Saturday, Sept. 15, the Silloway Gym was once again the center for volleyball action as the Cardinals took on the Williams Ephs. The first two sets were all Ephs’, who easily won the first set 25-17 before dominating the second, never letting the Cardinals get closer than a five-point margin. The Cardinal women fought back in the third set, however, making the Ephs work for their win. The team took Williams through four ties before the Ephs finally squeaked out the set 25-23, giving them a 3-0 victory in straight sets.
“We are all very disappointed that we lost the two NESCAC matches this weekend,” said Farris, who led the Cardinals with nine kills against the Ephs. “But we have really improved since our last matches. This weekend showed us what we need to work on to get ready for our NESCAC match against Connecticut College this Wednesday.”
Junior Monica Leslie contributed an impressive six kills, while Larson again had the team’s most assists, with twenty. Davila had a team-high sixteen digs.
“I think that even though we lost both matches this weekend, we were able to come out as a team and learn from our mistakes,” said Davila. “We talked to our coach about what we need to work on in practice this week in order to play our best for the game on Wednesday. The most important thing to take away from this weekend is that there are things that we need to improve on, but we aren’t going to let any loss bring our confidence down.”
Wesleyan volleyball faces their third NESCAC game of the season this Wednesday, Sept. 19 against Conn. College in the Silloway Gym.