Volleyball Aces Another Weekend With Two Wins
After securing their first NESCAC win of the season, women’s volleyball kept its winning streak alive last weekend, going a promising 2-1 in three non-conference home games. Wesleyan earned victories over Southern Vermont University and Worcester Polytechnic Institute, while falling to Western New England University.
On Friday, Oct. 19, the Cardinals faced off against the Mountaineers of Southern Vermont University for the first time in school history. The first set showcased the talent of both squads, with the two teams going back and forth until Wesleyan pulled ahead at 16-11. A powerful kill by junior Kim Farris decided the set in favor of the Cardinals.
Wesleyan led for most of the second set, but a series of decisive moves on the part of the Mountaineers brought the score to 24-22. Once again, Farris came to the rescue and executed to lead the Cardinals to victory by a margin of 25-22. However, despite Wesleyan’s prowess, Southern Vermont dominated the third set. The Mountaineers never trailed, and eventually won by a secure 25-15 margin and forced another set.
At the start of the fourth set, the Mountaineers once again looked strong, taking a quick 10-5 lead. However, an impressive 7-1 run by the Cardinals gave them a 12-11 advantage. A well-aimed kill by freshman Abby Southam broke a 13-13 tie and started the Cardinals on a 6-1 run. The Mountaineers started to gain momentum and once again closed in, bringing the score to 22-21. Two huge blocks by Southam and Farris respectively and an attack error brought a 25-21 set victory to the Cardinals, which was enough for them to win the match 3-1.
Farris led the team with twelve kills, while Monica Leslie ’14 had nine kills for the night. Freshman Brenna Tharnstrom had the match-high 32 assists, while Sophia Davila ’16 racked up 13 digs on defense.
On Saturday, Oct. 20, the Cardinals competed in another pair of non-conference matches, taking on Western New England University and Worcester Polytechnic Institute. In the first set against WNE, the Cardinals pulled out a close victory by the very slim margin of 26-24. Western New England quickly recovered though, easily winning the second and third sets 25-14 and 25-9 respectively. The Cardinals rallied a bit in the third set, but ultimately succumbed to a skilled WNE offense, falling by a score of 25-14.
Monica Leslie ’14 was easily the Cardinal’s MVP for the match, racking up 13 kills for a total more than twice as high as any of her teammates. She also had twenty-three assists and four blocks against WNE.
Later that afternoon the Cardinals faced off against the Engineers of Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Two very evenly matched teams, the entire match was a back-and-forth battle. The Cardinals took the first and third sets 29-27 and 25-21, while the Engineers won the second and fourth in 25-22 and 26-24.
The match came down to the decisive fifth and final set. The Cardinals opened with a 4-0 lead, but an 8-1 run by the Engineers pushed them ahead 10-8. A huge kill by Leslie started Wesleyan on a 6-0 streak. A final strong kill by Leslie brought the match to a close at 15-12.
The Cardinals had quite a series of impressive performances against WPI. Leslie had the team high 18 kills, while Farris and Kate Centofanti ’14 had 13 apiece. Sophomore Claire Larson had a season high 53 assists, while Davila had 18 digs.
The squad embarks on their final nonconference match of the season this Wednesday, Oct. 24 against Eastern Connecticut State University. The last meeting of these two teams took place earlier this season at the Trinity Invitational. There, the Warriors bested the Cardinals by a margin of 3-0. Wesleyan is sure to be looking to even the score and to end non-NESCAC play with a win.