Kim Farris '14, Named NESCAC POTW, & Claire Larson '15 Are Standouts as Volleyball Splits Weekend Battles, Then Conquers St. Joe
During a classic five-set battle between Wesleyan and Trinity in NESCAC action Fri., Sept. 27, Kim Farris '14 (#2, right side photo) collected a career-best 31 kills behind a .308 hitting percentage while Claire Larson '15 (#13, left side photo) dished out 54 assists, the second-highest match figure of her career, but it wasn't quite enough to get the Cardinals over the top in the 3-2 setback. Wesleyan rallied from 1-0 and 2-1 deficits to tie the match and send it into a fifth and deciding set. Wesleyan got off to an 8-4 start in the fifth set, but the Bantams secured 11 of the final 14 points for a 15-11 win in the final set.
Each of the first four sets went down to the wire as Trinity captured the opener, 25-20, before Wesleyan took a 25-22 decision in set two. Trinity matched that score in set three but the Cardinals responded with a 25-21 win in the fourth set. Thus, only five total points separated the squads over the course of the match with the Bantams holding a 108-103 margin.
Kate Centofanti '14 added 19 kills to Wesleyan's cause while Rachel Savage '17 paced the Cardinal defense with 22 digs. This was the third time on the last four meetings of the teams that the match has gone the full five sets.
Wesleyan was back on the court Sat., Sept. 28, hosting Rivier. This time only four points separated the two squads with the Cardinals prevailing, 3-1. Wesleyan seemed in charge after a 25-16 win in the first set, but the Raiders came right back to claim a 25-15 second-set win. Wesleyan took sets three and four by tight 25-22 and 28-26 counts. Once again, Farris was the top hitter with 18 kills while Larson set up 42 points with her assists. Centofanti again supported the effort with 12 kills and Savage was excellent on defense with 21 digs. Farris added five service aces and eight digs.
For her efforts against Trinity and Rivier, as well as her 18 kills vs. Western Conn. to start the week, giving her an average of 5.15 kills and 0.92 aces per set over the three matches, Farris was honored by the NESCAC as its Player of the Week.
The Cardinals then took their act on the road to St. Joseph in West Hartford Tues., Oct. 1 for another non-conference match. In the first meeting of the teams since 1999, Wesleyan made fairly short work of the outcome with a 3-0 victory, taking all three sets by identical 25-16 counts. Wesleyan trailed for only one point over the opening two sets. Wesleyan had to recover from a brief deficit in the third set but took the lead for good when Savage, who had seven digs, rattled off 10 straight serving points to turn a 6-5 St. Joe lead into a 15-6 Cardinal advantage. Farris led the way once again with 12 kills along with five blocks while Monica Leslie '14 added seven kills and Centofanti added six. Abby Southam '16 also had five blocks. Larson played the first two sets and tossed up 17 assists. Brenna Thanstrom '16 handled setting duties in the third set with six assists.
Wesleyan gets back to NESCAC play over the weekend with Middlebury coming in for a match Fri., Oct. 4. The match will be webcast and feature LiveStats. On Sat., Oct. 5, Hamilton comes to town for a match with LiveStats.