Meeting for the third straight year, Wesleyan maintained the home-court edge in the series by capturing a 3-0 decision over Keene St. in the squad's home opener Wed., Sept. 15. Keene had won, 3-2, in New Hampshire in 2009 while Wesleyan was a 3-2 victor in Middletown in 2008.
Wesleyan trailed only briefly in the first and third sets while controlling the match throughout. The most decisive set for the Cardinals was the middle one as Wesleyan bolted to a 9-0 lead and held at least a five-point edge to the finish. Keene narrowed the margin to 14-9 and trailed 16-11 before the Cardinals sprinted to the end with a 9-4 run for the 25-15 win. In the first and third sets, Wesleyan pulled away from 8-8 and 12-12 ties, respectively, the first with an 8-1 run for a 16-9 lead en route to a 25-19 triumph, and the third with an 11-3 burst to move out to a 23-15 advantage before taking the match with a 25-22 third-set victory.
Statistically, Wesleyan got 32 assists from setter Laura Yim '13, who also threw in five aces. Casey Reed '12 had a match-high 13 kills (#6, left side photo) along with 10 digs and two aces. Alissa Santucci '12 (#17, right side photo) contributed six kills, seven digs and two aces to the Cardinal cause. Libero Ruby Hernandez had a match-high 15 digs. Laura Volgenau '13 had two blocks for Wesleyan.
Wesleyan opened NESCAC round-robin play Sat., Sept. 18, taking on Williams and Hamilton in matches hosted by Conn. College. In three tight sets, Wesleyan fell to its Little Three rival before bounding back to down Hamilton, 3-1. The scores vs. Williams were 25-27, 19-25 and 19-25. Reed chalked up nine kills while Lesley Faulkner '11 was right behind with eight. Yim was good for 28 assists while Hernandez collected 11 digs. Against Hamilton, Reed again was the big gun with 15 kills while also making 16 digs. Santucci also hit double-digits with 10 putaways along with seven aces, six assists and five digs. Yim was outstanding with 38 assists, 15 digs and two aces. Hernandez was on her game with 20 digs. Reed and Kim Farris '14 both contributed three blocks in the match.
Wesleyan has a week to get ready for its next matches, first-time meetings with both Rivier and Wentworth Sat., Sept. 25 at Rivier.