Our play was a little up and down, and all over the place on Thursday night as Norwich stole a game. The first set was lopsided in favor of Midd as they really had no answer for our offensive weapons. They struggled to return the serves from Julia, Lauren, Jane and Caroline, and often sent the ball back over on one. After easing to a quick victory in the first game, we altered our lineup and went back out for game two.
Norwich was not going to go away easily, and to their credit, they fought back hard, and started digging everything, and just keeping the ball in play. They tipped on us and caught us back on our heels, and also started serving us tougher, forcing us out of what we wanted to do. Combine their upped tempo with our mistakes and it didn't add up to a favorable game for MIDD.
More restructuring in the third game, and still quite a bit of fight in Norwich saw us pull out a closer than expected game before taking charge again in the 4th. Our middles didn't get too involved as Norwich used more off-speed shots, and were difficult to block, yet both Whit and Elissa had pretty good hitting percentage nights again. Our defense was also forced into a different look, as Lauren and Caitlin had way more digs in the right back area then most matches.
On the night, there were a couple of shining spots. We came out ready to play, and really took charge in game one. Then, we had a couple of seniors step up and really show some poise off the bench. Mallory and Molly came off the bench and really helped set the tone for what we want from our bench in games 3 and 4. That is what is at the heart of Middlebury Volleyball. We have plenty of things to keep improving on, and our goal is to keep getting better every day in practice to become the best team that we can become. It takes each and every one of us, and those two seniors showed a lot of poise and composure last night. Those home matches in Pepin are fleeing for our seniors, as the next (and last) time they'll play at home will be Homecoming!
Now, we're off to our first NESCAC weekend at Williams where we hope to get our Conference play off to a good start!