Maine Unkind to Cardinals as Squad Returns from Consecutive Weekend Trips with 3 Hard-Luck 5-Set Losses

With Kate Centofanti '14 (#9, right side photo) leading the Cardinals with 18 kills and 16 digs while Monica Leslie '14 (#7, left side photo) added 18 kills and three blocks, and Kim Farris '14 had 13 kills, nine digs, three blocks, and two aces, Wesleyan recovered from deficits of 1-0 and 2-1 at Colby Fri., Oct. 11, but came up short in the final set, 15-12, for a 3-2 NESCAC setback.  Brittany Lo '15 tied for the team lead in digs with 16 while Rachel Savage '17 chipped in with 14.  The team then made a return trip to Maine Fri., Oct. 18, facing Bowdoin, then headed to Bates Sat., Oct. 19 to complete the NESCAC weekend.  At Bowdoin, Wesleyan led 1-0 and 2-1 before falling, 3-2.  At Bates, Wesleyan recovered from a 2-0 deficit to make it 2-2 before Bates captured a 3-2 victory.

At Colby, the Cardinals got off to a slow start, trailing 19-8 in the opening set before falling by a 25-16 count.  Wesleyan rebounded in the second set to claim a 27-25 victory.  Wesleyan had three set points before Leslie put it away with the 27th point.  In the third set, the Cardinals recovered from an eight-point deficit to cut the gap to one, 22-21, but thr Mules closed out the set with three of the last four points for a 25-22 win.  Wesleyan broke away from a 19-19 tie in the fourth set with five in a row for a 24-19 lead before taking a 25-20 triumph.  After recovering from an early 4-1 Mule lead in the final set, Wersleyan assumed a 5-4 lead and held as much as a three-point margin (11-8) before Colby finished out the fifth set with a 7-1 run for the match victory.

In the Bowdoin match, the Cardinals recovered from a 15-11 deficit in the first set to take a 20-19 lead, then had their first set point at 24-23.  But Bowdoin tied the count at 24-24 before a Centofanti kill (eight in the match) made it 25-24 and a Claire Larson '15 (33 assists) kill on a second-hit dink wrapped up the 26-24 win.  Bowdoin rolled to a 25-7 victory in the second set before Wesleyan again pulled out a tight win, 25-22.  Wesleyan led by as many as six (12-6) before a 9-2 Bowdoin run spotted the Polar Bears with their only lead of the set, 15-14.  Wesleyan responded with an 8-2 run of its own for a 22-17 edge and got the clinching kill from Farris (12 kills) for the 2-1 lead.  Again, Bowdoin reacted by taking a substantial win, 25-11, to knot the match, 2-2.  The Polar Bears went on to forge a 12-5 lead in the deciding set before the Cardinals picked up six straight points to narrow the gap to 12-11.  But Bowdoin got the final three points for the match victory, its 10th win in a row this season while upping its overall record to 17-4 (6-1 NESCAC).

Wesleyan did an about-face at Bates after dropping the opening two sets, 18-25 and 14-25.  A 25-20 Wesleyan win was followed by a 25-15 Cardinal conquest.  But the fifth and deciding set went to the Bobcats by a 15-11 score.  Farris had a team-leading 15 kills and added three aces.  Leslie picked up nine kills, followed by Centofanti with eight.  Larson had 33 assists, four aces and a team-high 14 digs.

After five straight conference matches, Wesleyan has a non-league affair slated for Tues., Oct. 22 when the team takes on RIC.