Wesleyan Falls Short in Five-Set Thriller to WCSU, Responds with 3-0 Sweep Over Mitchell

Photo by Lianne Yun '18
Photo by Lianne Yun '18

THE BASICS:

Location: Middletown, Conn.
Date: Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016
Time: 11 a.m./1 p.m.
The Lead: Trailing 2-0 in the first match of the day, the Wesleyan University women's volleyball team rallied to force a decisive set five against Western Connecticut State Universtiy, but came up short. However, the Cardinals responded shortly after with a 3-0 sweep over Mitchell College in the second match of Saturday's doubleheader.

GAME 1

Score: Western Conn. State 3, Wesleyan 2 (25-20, 25-18, 12-25, 24-26, 15-8)
Records: Wesleyan (1-1); Western Conn. State (5-1)

HOW IT HAPPENED:

  • The first match went back-and-forth often until a kill by Alyssa Dam put the Colonials up by seven, 24-17. Three straight points by Wesleyan cut the deficit to four but Dam put the set away with a kill, off an assist from Danielle Kaminsky.
  • Kaminsky put Western Conn. State up 1-0 in the second set with a service ace, and the Colonials never looked back. Leading the entire set, they won 25-18 to claim a 2-0 advantage in the match.
  • Wesleyan wouldn't go down easily and scored the first five points of the third to set the tone early. The Cardinals led the entire way and claimed a decisive 25-12 win.
  • In the fourth set, Western Conn. State pulled away late and looked to seal the victory as it took an 18-11 lead. However, Wesleyan responded and went ahead 24-23 after a Nicole Hilton '20 kill. The Colonials knotted the score at 24-24, but an attack error by the visitor's and a service ace from Rachel Savage '17 gave the Cardinals a 26-24 win, forcing a fifth set.
  • Despite the impressive comeback, Western Conn. State took a 2-1 lead in the final set and led the rest of the way en route to a 15-8 win to claim the match. 

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

  • The Colonials totaled 58 kills with a .163 hitting percentage, while Wesleyan finished with 52 team kills and a .160 mark.
  • Sarah Swenson '18 led the Cardinals with 14 kills, while Nicole Hilton '20 and Madeleine Lundberg '19 each finished with 11. Lundberg finished with 12 digs as well, while Audrey Konow '20 also knotched a double-double with 43 assists and 14 digs. Savage led all players with 27 digs, and Hilton posted a game-high seven blocks (six assists).
  • Two players posted double-digit kills for the visitor's - Karissa Smith (18) and Cady Cordes (10). Kaminsky recorded a game-high 46 assists and Cordes finished with 22 digs.

GAME 2

Score: Wesleyan 3, Mitchell 0 (25-8, 25-7, 25-9)
Records: Wesleyan (2-1); Mitchell (2-3)

HOW IT HAPPENED:

  • The second match of the day was all Wesleyan.
  • The Cardinals only trailed twice the entire match, down 2-1 in the first set and 3-1 in the second.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

  • Stasie Litinsky '20 led the home team with 11 kills as the Cardinals finished with 36 total and an efficient .333 hitting mark. Kailee Chimento '20 added six, and Kelsey Tam '19 posted a game-high 12 assists.
  • Myia Williams led the Mariners with four kills and eight digs.

UP NEXT:

  • The Cardinals are back in action Friday, Sept. 16 and will host Hamilton in their NESCAC opener at 8 p.m. in Silloway Gym. They return to the court the following day to host Middlebury Saturday, Sept. 17 at 2 p.m.

HEAD COACH BEN SOMERA:

  • "It was a good weekend of play. These matches gave us an opportunity to evaluate our execution in the areas we have focused on, and help us prioritize our list of task moving forward." 
  • "I felt like we managed routine plays pretty well but need to develop both our in and out of system transition patterns so we can flow from offense to defense more efficiently.  The good news is that we are digging a lot of balls and we can now work on turning those into in rhythm swings."

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Wesleyan Sweeps Wheaton, 3-0
October 22, 2016 Wesleyan Sweeps Wheaton, 3-0