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Volleyball Rallies to Defeat Little Three Rival Williams in Home-Opener, 3-1

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

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – After dropping its first set, the Wesleyan University volleyball team rallied for three consecutive wins to defeat Little Three archrival Williams College in a thriller Friday night in the Cardinals' home-opener, 3-1. Freshman Mia Jago shined in her Silloway Gymnasium debut as she finished with 11 kills and an incredible .611 hitting percentage.

Wesleyan improves to 3-1 overall with its third-straight victory. Friday night's game was also the team's NESCAC-opener. The Ephs fall to 4-2 overall and 0-1 in league play following their fourth-straight loss to the Cardinals.

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The first set featured back-and-forth play until the Ephs rallied and pulled ahead 18-12, which proved to be the difference as they led the rest of the way en route to the 25-21 win.
  • Williams jumped out to an early lead in the second set as well but a 6-1 rally by the home team gave the Cardinals a 14-9 advantage. Wesleyan led by as much as six in the frame but a kill by Erin Denham of Williams cut the deficit to two, 23-21. However, the Cardinals remained resilient and back-to-back points including a kill from Nicole Hilton '20 evened the match at 1-1.
  • It was all Williams early in the third frame as the visitors scored the first six points. Wesleyan didn't back down though and took its first lead late in the set, 18-17. The Cardinals scored 10 of the last 13 points to claim the third, 25-20.
  • Riding the momentum in the fourth, Wesleyan jumped out to a 14-7 lead following a kill from Stasie Litinsky '20. The home team never trailed in the final frame and a huge block by Hilton and Litinsky sealed the match win.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

  • Four players recorded double-digit kills for the Cardinals—Hilton (13), Harper Graves '21 (12), Jago (11), and Mia Hogan '20 (10). Hilton recorded a .500 hitting percentage and five blocks. Kaira Muraoka-Robertson '20 dished out a match-high 43 assists and Phia Bellizzi '21 led all players with 20 digs.
  • Mia Weinland led the Ephs with 13 kills and a .414 attack clip, while Denham added 12. Daiana Takashima totaled 18 digs, while Alex Newton added 14 and a team-high 26 assists.

HEAD COACH BEN SOMERA:

  • "We never hit our full offensive rhythm but our passers had us in system a lot. The Mia's (Jago and Hogan) gave us a much needed offensive spark coming down the stretch and our serving gave us a lot of good defensive opportunities to transition. We have some things to improve but I am happy with our effort and attitude."

UP NEXT:

  • Wesleyan returns to the courts tomorrow and will host Hamilton at 2 p.m. in Silloway Gymnasium.