Libero Rachel Savage '17 racked up 31 digs and setter Heidi Westerman '17 tossed up 40 set assists to pace Wesleyan (3-1) to a 3-1 home victory over in-state rival Eastern Connecticut (3-6) Thurs., Sept. 17. Eastern still leads the overall series by a 23-14 count but the Cardinals have captured six of the last 10 encounters.
Wesleyan headed to Bates Fri., Sept. 18 for its next match as the Cardinals opened NESCAC play. There, after taking the first set, Wesleyan's attempt for a comeback fell short in a 3-1 setback. Wesleyan concluded the NESCAC weekend in Maine Sat., Sept. 19 with a visit to Colby. THat match went Colby,s way, 3-0.
Each of the first three sets vs. ECSU came down to the wire with the Cardinals pulling out the first two by identical 25-22 scores. The Warriors rallied for a 27-25 triumph in the third set before the Cardinals wrapped up the win with a 25-15 fourth-set conquering. To watch video highlights of the Cardinals' victory, click < here >.
Wesleyan used a 4-0 run to break a 20-20 tie in the first set en route to a 1-0 lead. The second set was tied, 22-22, but Wesleyan scored the final three points with a dink for a kill by Abby Southam '16 spotting the Cardinals the lead for good, 23-22. Wesleyan pulled out to a six-point margin in the third set, 20-14, but Eastern stormed back to get within two, 20-18. Still, Wesleyan was on the brink of a 3-0 victory, ahead 24-21, but four straight Warriors points gave Eastern a 25-24 lead. Though Wesleyan evened the count at 25-25, a Warriors kill and a block of a Wesleyan attack gave Eastern its final two points for the set. The fourth set belonged to the Cardinals from the outset, leading 8-4, then 12-6, before making it a 19-11 set, and wrapping up the match with the 10-point victory margin.
In addition to the strong performances of Savage and Westerman, Wesleyan got 15 kills from Caroline Diemer '18 and 12 kills from Sarah Swenson '18 to pace the hitters. Naja Lewis '17 added seven kills and a team-leading four blocks. Savage also had three service aces to aid the Wesleyan cause.
At Bates, the Cardinals rolled to a 25-17 victory in the first set before Bates rallied to take the second set, 25-19. Wesleyan trailed in that set, 23-11, but scored eight of the next nine points to narrow the gap to five before the Bobcats closed it out. The third set was all Bates, 25-14. In the fourth set, Bates again moved out to a substatial margin at the outset, 6-1, before Wesleyan stormed back to make it 7-7. The Bates broke an 11-11 tie with a 7-0 spurt for an 18-11 lead. Wesleyan reponded in kind with an 8-1 burst of its own to knot the count at 19-19. The host then picked up six of the final eight points to capture the match, 25-21.
Leading the Cardinals in kills was Swenson with 11. Westerman picked up 31 assists and Savage had nine digs. Lewis was the team's blocking leader again with four.
Against Colby, Wesleyan fell 14-25, 15-25, 22-25. The Cardinals' staple figures produce team-leading figures once again as Swenson had eight kills, matched by Diemer. Westerman tossed up 24 assists and Savage was busy on defense with 21 digs. Madeleine Lundberg '19 added 18 digs and Southam had 12. Lewis had a pair of blocks.
On Thurs., Sept. 24, the Cardinals head to Western Connecticut for their next action with both a webcast and LiveStats on taps.