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Cards Down Williams, 3-2, for 3rd Straight NESCAC Win This Season, Eye Outright Little Three Crown

Wesleyan volleyball standouts

With all the odds against them, the undaunted Cardinals had leads of 1-0 and 2-1 in sets vs. Williams in a NESCAC match at Conn. College Fri., Oct. 9 on their way to a thrilling five-set win, capturing the final set 16-14. Williams entered the match unbeaten in NESCAC play including a 3-1 win over Amherst the previous weekend. Williams also had defeated Wesleyan two weeks earlier during the MIT Invitational, 3-0.

But this time, the Cards grabbed the lead with a 26-24 triumph in the opening set before dropping a 25-16 set as Williams evened the match. The third set went the Cardinals' way, 25-18, but again Williams took a set, this time 25-21, to force a fifth and deciding set. Wesleyan got a final kill from Alissa Santucci '12 (#17, main photo) to clinch the match, 16-14.

Setter Ellie Healy '10 (#10, photo insert lower left) racked up 51 assists and 17 digs while libero Ruby Hernandez '11 (#1, photo insert upper left) collected a team-high 29 digs. Santucci also had 17 digs in the match. Wesleyan distributed its kills nicely among its potent hitters as Ashley Farrow '10 led the way with 17 while both Casey Reed '12 and Lesley Faulkner '11 had 14. Santucci added 11 and paced the squad with five aces.

The Cardinals closed out the NESCAC weekend with matches against Hamilton and Middlebury Sat., Oct. 10, both played at Conn. College. Wesleyan took Hamilton down in three sets, 25-23, 25-17, 25-20, but ran into a buzz saw with the Panthers, falling in five sets, 23-25, 22-25, 25-23, 21-25, 12-15. Reed was the big gun vs. Hamilton with 10 kills while Farrow led the way against Middlebury with 16 kills. 

Wesleyan can secure an outright Little Three title Sat., Oct. 17 when the squad squares off with Amherst in a NESCAC match at Trinity. If Amherst wins, there will be a three-way tie for the crown for the second straight season. Before that match, however, the Cardinals took on the Bantams Fri., Oct. 16 at Trinity. Wesleyan fell in a tight 3-1 decision with set scores 25-19, 21-25, 23-25, 24-26. Reed (16 kills) and Farrow (12 kills) paced the attack with Healy dishing out 40 assists. Hernandez made 29 digs and Laura Volgenau '13 paced the team in blocks with six.