Down 2-0, Wesleyan Rallies to Defeat Williams in NESCAC Thriller, 3-2

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

THE BASICS:

Score: Wesleyan 3, Williams 2 (20-25, 21-25, 25-23, 25-15, 19-17)
Records: Wesleyan (15-6, 6-3 NESCAC); Williams (12-10, 5-4 NESCAC)
Location: Williamstown, Mass. (Chandler Gym)
Date:
Friday, October 28th
Time: 8 p.m.
The Lead: Trailing 2-0, the Wesleyan University volleyball team rallied to defeat Little Three archrival Williams College Friday night, on the road, by a score of 3-2 in a NESCAC thriller.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

  • Wesleyan led for much of the first set as the teams went back-and-forth often. A kill from Sarah Swenson '18 gave the Cardinals its largest lead, 12-7, but Williams slowly cut into the deficit. Trailing 19-18, the Ephs scored the final seven points of the game to take a 1-0 lead in the match.
  • The second set featured another competitive game, this time with Williams leading most of the way. Trailing by three, back-to-back kills from Gabby Bennett '20 followed by an error from the home team knotted the set at 16-16. However, a late 4-0 rally by Williams put the Ephs ahead, 23-19, as they went on to win 25-21.
  • Trailing 2-0 in the match, Wesleyan scored the first four points of the third set. The Cardinals led by as much as six, 12-6, but Williams would get within one late in the game, 20-19. Wesleyan scored four of the next five points before the Ephs responded with four of the next five of their own to trail, 24-23, before a kill from Bennett sealed the win for Wesleyan.
  • A kill from Madeleine Lundberg '19 in the fourth set put Wesleyan ahead 2-1, and the Cardinals never looked back. They cruised to a 25-15 win to force a fifth set.
  • The thrilling fifth game featured 14 ties and nine lead changes. Tied at 13-13, the match went back-and-forth with both teams getting to game-point twice before Wesleyan's final rally. Trailing 17-16, a kill from Bennett followed by a Williams' error put the Cardinals ahead 18-17.  Bennett then received a pass from Muraoka-Robertson to seal the thrilling come-from-behind win.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

  • Three players recorded double-digit kills for Wesleyan. Nicole Hilton '20 led the way with 15 and a .429 hitting percentage, while Bennett recorded 12 and Lundberg added 11. Hilton added seven blocks, Bennett registered four and Lundberg tallied 10 digs.
  • Muraoka-Robertson dished out 53 assists to lead the offense, while adding 13 digs, and Olivia Guidotti '20 led all players with 28 digs.
  • Tori Jasuta posted a game-high 24 kills for Williams, and Ally Ostrow added 19 and a team-high 24 digs. Alex Newton tallied a game-high 55 assists, and Caitie Benell, Daiana Takashima and Jasuta recorded 20, 14 and 13 digs, respectively.
  • Wesleyan hit .259 as a team (58 kills, 15 errors), while Williams recorded a .203 attack mark (66 kills, 29 errors).

BEYOND THE BOX SCORE:

  • The win was Wesleyan's first over Williams since the 2009 season, snapping a six-game losing streak against its Little Three rival.
  • The Cardinals have tripled their amount of wins from a year ago.

UP NEXT:

  • Wesleyan remains on the road and returns to the court tomorrow to face Amherst College in a Little Three Championship match scheduled for 12 p.m.
  • The Ephs wrap up the 2016 regular season with a home match tomorrow against Trinity. The match is scheduled to start at 2 p.m.

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Wesleyan Sweeps Wheaton, 3-0
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