Opening the 2009 campaign at Wellesley Fri., Sept. 11 in the first of three matches during the Wellesley Quad Tournament, the Cardinals won the opening set but lost the next three in a 3-1 setback. The tournament continued Sat., Sept. 12 with Wesleyan facing Amherst and Johns Hopkins.
Wesleyan captured an exciting 27-25 win in the opening set vs. Wellesley as Alissa Santucci '12 served the final three points for the win. The Cards came up just short in the second set, 25-22, before losing 25-8 in the third frame. The fourth set came down to the wire after Wesleyan jumped ahead 6-0. The Cards held a 24-21 lead but Wellesley came back to tie. Though Wesleyan again had a set point at 26-25, Wellesley came through with three straight points for the 28-26 victory, clinching the match.
Ashley Farrow '10 (#18, main photo) led Wesleyan with 16 kills and a fine .682 hitting percentage. On defense, Ruby Hernandez '11 (#1, photo insert lower right) racked up 19 digs while setter Ellie Healy '10 collected 36 assists.
The Cardinals and Lord Jeffs hooked up in a real thriller with Amherst scoring the final two points to take a 3-2 decision. Amherst won the first two sets, 25-22 and 25-21 but the Cardinals responded with wins of 25-22 and 26-24 to force a fifth and deciding set. Up for grabs at 14-14, the match went the Jeffs way behind a 16-14 win.
As they did against Wellesley, the Cardinals won the opening set by two points (25-23) vs. Johns Hopkins but could not add to their win total as the Blue Jays took the next three sets, 25-20, 25-17 and 28-26.
Hernandez was a demon in the digs department, logging a single-match Wesleyan record 43 vs. Johns Hopkins and 86 over the 13 sets (6.62 per set). Casey Reed '12 came alive in the kills department, leading the squad in both matches on Saturday and totaling 43 for the tournament. Farrow was next with 38. Healy was good for 52 assists against Amherst before resting in the Johns Hopkins match.
Before opening NESCAC round-robin play at Tufts Fri., Sept. 18, followed by a match with Bowdoin at the same location Sat., Sept. 19, the Cardinals ventured to Keene St. Wed., Sept. 16 and came out on the wrong end of a 3-2 decision. Wesleyan fought back from a 2-0 deficit (21-25, 25-27) to even the count at 2-2 with identical set victories but Keene came on strong on the fifth and deciding set, jumping ahead 6-0 and 11-2 before capturing the win 15-6. The Cardinals got 23 digs and six aces from Hernandez, 48 assists from Healy and 15 kills from Reed to lead the way statistically.