September 26, 2013
In a sport decided by sets, it can be easy to assume that a 3-1 loss is a blowout. But this was not the case for Hamilton’s women’s volleyball team, this past Friday, in their match against Colby.
The Continentals went into the game with high hopes and equally high ambitions, but came away short against the Mules from Maine. This was the first NESCAC challenge for both squads, making it an important match both for morale and conference standings.
Although the Conts came away with just one set in the best-of-five contest, they kept each set close, and made every point competitive. With a first set victory (25-20), Hamilton looked to keep rolling towards the win, but fell short in the second set after stretching it to 32-30.
Anna Brown ’15 explained, “the last three sets were very tight, and there was little room for error.” The two teams played very similar games, each forcing the other to make one more shot. But it was Colby who was able to pull away in each set winning the next two 25-20 and 25-23 respectively.
“In the first set, our defense was on fire...the hitters were being very smart about mixing up their shots,” explained Head Coach Erin Glaser. However, she added, “the final sets were very up and down for us...A lot of it is just mental...Colby definitely rose to our level of play after the first set...[and] probably played their best game of the season against us on Friday.”
Similarly, Courtney Somerville ’16 felt that the team “lost the last three sets because we were waiting for Colby to make mistakes instead of being strategic and creating scoring opportunities for ourselves. Colby is a great team and they aren’t going to give us points; we need to earn them.”
Still, this was not a match without highlights for the Continentals. Somerville had a career-best 15 kills and six blocks, while Brenna Corrigan ’14 tacked on a season-high 13 kills. Anna Brown, the team’s libero, led with 29 digs, including her 1,000th career dig, and four service aces.
Overall, Brown was pleased with the way the Conts played against Colby. “Even though we did not get the result we wanted,” she said, “we communicated very well and our defense was great. We are working on our ability to close games... [and] on our discipline and consistency.”
Following the home match against Colby, the Conts travelled to SUNY Oswego for their Fall Classic. At Oswego, the Conts split their two matches, handily defeating Alfred State in three quick sets, and losing a very competitive match against SUNY Oswego. Jessica Weston ’17 earned all-tournament honors for her play during the matches at Oswego. She posted a season-high 11 kills while adding two solo blocks against Alfred State, and hammered in seven more kills against Oswego. Other highlights from the tournament included Sarah Pfund ’14 recording a total of 64 assists and Corrigan knocking down 22 kills.
Coach Glaser is looking for the team to continue working hard in practices in order to yield more positive results. “For the coming weeks, we will be working on mixing up our hitting selection, aggressive defensive transitions and earning points. Practices will revolve around drills that require long periods of focus and execution to score points.” She hopes this will help the team mentally prepare for difficult matches and long rallies.
Coming up next for Hamilton volleyball, the Continentals will play host to the Middlebury College Panthers and Union College’s Dutchwomen on Saturday, Sept. 28. With both a NESCAC match and an old Liberty League match-up, this promises to be an exciting day of volleyball for the Conts.