Schenectady, NY-- Facing off against New York regional opponent Union College on Tuesday night Volleyball battled hard to bring home a 3-1 (21-25, 28-26, 25-16, 25-19) victory. With the win Williams moves to 10-5 on the year (4-1 in NESCAC), while Union falls to 12-7 (2-3 in Liberty League).
In the first set the teams battled through multiple ties at 5-5 and 6-6 before the host Dutchwomen were able to run out to an 11-7 lead, prompting a timeout from Williams head coach Christi Kelsey. Despite the stoppage of play, however, the Ephs still found themselves on the back foot as Union would push the lead to as large as seven points, up 14-7. With junior co-captain Emily Doll at the serving line Williams would close the gap to three points down 13-16. A kill by Doll moved it to 15-17, necessitating a Union timeout. The Ephs brought the lead down to just one point at 19-20 before Union would stiffen their defense and break out again to 23-21 through two quick kills from their middle hitters. Down 24-21 Williams would call a timeout, although could not come back as Union closed out the set 25-21.
The Ephs jumped out to a 4-2 lead to start the second set, and an ace by Doll increased the lead to four points up 7-3. A block by first year setter Ryan Farley made it 10-6, causing Union to call a time out. The Dutchwomen would not side out quickly as a tip by first year middle hitter Catherine Egan increased the lead to five points up 11-6. Union would then claw their way back, launching a 6-1 run to tie the set at 12-12 before continuing the run to 14-12. Williams would tie the game at 15-15, although the Dutchwomen responded to go up 19-17. A kill by sophomore outside hitter Raea Rasmussen closed the gap to 19-20 while a kill by junior Emily Baratta tied the score at 20-20. Two more back to back kills by Baratta put the Ephs up 22-21 although Union tied the score again at 23-23. A kill by Doll made it 24-23, prompting a Union timeout. Although the teams would go back and forth a kill by first year middle hitter Katherine Lane made it 27-26, while a Rasmussen block would end it 28-26.
Back to back aces by Emily Baratta helped Williams out to a 3-0 lead in the third set. The Ephs would press their advantage, with a Raea Rasmussen kill making it 8-4. An Egan kill pressed the lead to 12-6, leading to a Union timeout. Another Egan kill off an overpass made it 16-7, and a kill by Doll made it 18-10. A kill by Lane made it 20-11 causing Union to call their second timeout. The Eph drive would continue strong to the finish as they would take the third set 25-16.
Going into the fourth set the final result of the match was still somewhat in doubt. The Williams serving began to pick up, however, with an ace by Doll making it 6-3. Another ace by sophomore libero Emily O'Day pushed the lead to four points up 8-4. A huge combination block by Farley and Egan set the Ephs up 13-7, and a kill by Egan made it 14-7. A Union rally to 12-15 was snuffed out emphatically by yet another Egan Block. With Williams running their lead out again to seven points up 20-13 Union would call a timeout. Coming out of the timeout Union rattled off a 4-0 run to 17-20, necessitating a Williams timeout. Union would take two more points out of the timeout, closing to within one point down 19-20. Digging in, however, the reinvigorated Ephs would build a 5-0 run of their own to take the set 25-19 and close out.
Williams was able to lean heavily on their offense to carry them through the bulk of the match. Junior outside hitter Emily Baratta would lead the team with 13 kills against 8 errors for a hitting percentage .139 (36 attempts). First year Katherine Lane would lead the team in hitting percentage with .400, 12 kills, 4 errors, in 20 attempts. Sophomore Raea Rasmussen, despite playing only three sets had an extremely strong offensive performance, hitting seven kills in eighteen attempts with no errors. Rasmussen would have five kills in the deciding fourth set alone.
First year setter Ryan Farley was the linchpin at the heart of the offense, turning in 49 assists, a new career high. At the net Williams was strong once again, tallying nine total team blocks. Rasmussen (5), Egan (4) and Lane (3) would register the lion's share of rejections for the Ephs. The strong play at the net meant that there was less to do in the defensive backcourt, although Emily O'Day was still able to register 12 digs. Sophomore defensive specialist Amanda Schott was close behind with 11 digs, while Baratta was in double digits with 10.
Next up the Ephs will return to conference play against Hamilton College on Friday evening before taking on SUNY New Paltz in a mid week match at home on October 10th.