Volleyball Grabs 2-0 Lead vs. Bowdoin but Falls in NESCAC Match, 3-2 ; Six Other Foes Gain 3-0 Wins

Bowdoin took control of the match after breaking a 15-15 tie in the third set and went on to come from behind to defeat homestanding Wesleyan in a NESCAC matchup, 3-2, Fri., Oct. 1.  Wesleyan had built substantial leads in each of the first two sets and hung on to gain a 2-0 lead in sets.  But with the score 15-15 in the third set, Bowdoin pulled ahead, 22-17, and went on for a 25-20 victory, swinging the momentum in the Polar Bears’ favor.  Bowdoin led throughout the fourth set, moving ahead by its largest margin in any set during the evening, 18-10.  Though the Cardinals narrowed the difference to 20-18, Bowdoin scored five of the next six points for the 25-19 victory, evening the match at two sets apiece. 

Bowdoin broke a 2-2 tie in the fifth and deciding set, going ahead 8-4, and eventually led 12-6.  Once again, Wesleyan rallied to tighten the score at 13-11, but the final two points went to the visitors, who defeated Wesleyan for the second year in a row in five sets after ending a 19-match losing streak vs. Wesleyan last year.  On Sat., Oct. 2, Wesleyan faced Tufts in its fourth NESCAC match of the season.  The Jumbos dominated the match with a 25-12, 25-16, 25-16 victory.

Wesleyan had built leads of 20-10 and 19-12 in the first and second sets, respectively, vs. Bowdoin en route to its win.  Bowdoin came back in the opener to make it 21-19 before the Cardinals closed out the 25-20 win.  Bowdon recovered to take the lead in the second set, 22-20, but a five-point Wesleyan run gave the Cardinals their 2-0 edge in the match.

Wesleyan got a match-high 20 kills from Casey Reed '12 (#6, right side photo) and 43 assists from setter Laura Yim '13 (#5, left side photo).  Reed also had 18 digs but libero Ruby Hernandez '11 led the Cardinals with 22 digs while Yim added 17.  Hernandez, Yim and Alissa Santucci '12 all had four aces.

Against Tufts, Wesleyan's seasonal leaders kept up their pace as Reed had 11 kills, Hernandex made 11 digs, Yim produced 22 assists and Kim Farris '14 made three blocks along with two aces.

Wesleyan hit the home court again Wed., Oct. 6, taking on Coast Guard.  The Bears came away with a 3-0 decision.  The first two sets were nip-and-tuck into the mid-teens, scoring-wise, before the Bears used strong finishes to grab tight victories.  The third set was all Coast Guard as the Bears closed out the match going away.  Wesleyan led early in each of the opening sets, holding leads of 6-2 and 5-2.  An 11-6 Wesleyan advantage in the opener was erased by a 16-4 Coast Guard run as the visitors took the lead for good, 15-14, en route to a 22-15 edge.  Coast Guard got the three points it needed to five by the Cardinals for a 25-20 opening-set triumph.  The second set was tied at 15-15 before Coast Guard used a 5-1 run for a 20-16 lead and added a 5-2 burst to the end for the 25-18 win.  In the final set, Coast Guard steadily pulled away from the outset, leading 4-1, 8-2, 12-4 and 20-6 for the greatest margin of the match before Wesleyan narrowed the gap to 12 for the 25-13 final score.

The Cardinals got 11 kills and two aces from Lesley Faulkner '11. Reed added eight kills and two aces. Hernandez came through with 12 digs and Yim tossed up 20 assists.

The Cardinals returned to NESCAC match mode Fri., Oct. 8 with a vital home battle against Trinity. After dropping the first set, 25-23, one during which there were 22 ties and neither team led by more than two points, the Cardinals were unable to recover, falling 3-0.  The second set went the Bantams' way, 25-20, and the third, 25-13.  Yim had 23 assists while Reed led again in kills with nine.  Hernanadez had a team-high nine digs. 

When the squad made a trip to Conn College Sat., Oct. 9 for another important NESCAC matchup, Wesleyan suffered another tight setback. Sets scores were 21-25, 20-25 and 19-25.  While the Camels had a strong service match with 11 aces, the Cardinals came up with seven team blocks.  Farris was in on six of them with Reed contributing to four.  Reed had a decent hitting match with 12 kills.  Hernandez was tops again in digs with 13 and Yim was solid with 26 assists.

The task ahead was no easier for the Cardinals as the next two opponents were NESCAC rivals Middlebury and Amherst Fri., Oct. 15 and Sat., Oct. 16, respectively, at Amherst.  Middlebury ended the weekend with a 6-2 NESCAC mark while Amherst forged ito the lead with a 7-1 record. 

Middlebury came away with a 3-0 victory over Wesleyan (25-20, 25-20, 25-12).  Wesleyan got six kills from four players - Faulker, Reed, Santucci and Monica Lesle '14.  Farris had a match-high five blocks while Yim added 26 assists to her totals.  Hernandez racked up 16 digs.

Against Amherst, Reed had a solid all-around match with a team-high 10 kills, six digs, three blocks and a pair of aces.  Hernandez had an amazing 24 digs (8.0 per set) and Yim supplied her teammates with 30 assists.  Wesleyan pressed the overall 17-1 Lord Jeffs into extra action in the first set, falling 28-26.  Amherst took the next two more comfortably, 25-14, and 25-16.

Wesleyan moves out-of-conference for its next match with a visit to Rhode Island College Tues., Oct. 19.  The match will be webcast and can be viewed by clicking < here >.

(photos courtesy of SteveMcLaughlinPhotography.com)