The first set wasn't pretty but we ended up getting it together. Is that a recurring theme? I hope not. Anyway, we played the match with some very nice pink balls because it was a Dig Pink event. Skidmore had a great crowd, who were loud and it was a fun atmosphere, but we didn't really come out that strong. It was their home opener, which is hard to imagine at this point in the season, but the crowd was ready to cheer on their team.
We had trouble getting on their middle early, and she was both hitting around us, and also swiping off the block etc. They were setting fairly high to the outsides, so we felt like we had time to get out to close the block, but somehow didn't seem to be doing that great of a job with that to start with. After we fought back in the first match, we traded points at the end, and finally took one of our few leads of the game in extra points, and then won 28-26. I think we showed some poise to be behind almost the whole first game, and them come back to tie it up late, before going ahead for the win. And to that when we were really struggling to get anything going was good to see.
The second set started out much better, and we seemed to be coming into our own when Julia got hit right in the face with a pretty hard shot! A couple of points later, her nose started to bleed, and she had to come out to get that taken care of. Amy Hart played in the front, and did a great job. Meg has been playing right side in practice, but has been pretty sick lately, so we put Amy in there after not practicing there, and she did a great job. Courtney then came in the back and played very solid defense before Julia was ready to come back in the front row. Their crowd was fairly decent, but had made comments on various things about us, but as soon as Julia came back in the front row, Lauren set her first thing, and it went down for a kill. (That seemed to quiet the crowd a bit!) Also, I realized that Caitlin got a few big "oh's" from the crowd with a few digs that seemed they were going down for kills for Skidmore, but then came back up! I don't often notice the crowd, but I think because we were facing them, and they were pretty loud, it was more obvious?
Anyway, we seemed to have deflated their bubble a bit after pulling out the first set. They've been having a great season, and they'd beaten us in 5 the last two times we've played them, and once we got going with our game, they seemed to not know just what to do, and almost seemed to just get stuck in neutral. The second set was fairly close, however, it was us this time who had the lead quite a bit of the time, and then finished it out still with that 3-4 point lead.
The third set was mostly us. However, as we seemed to be cruising to finish out the match strongly, they had a last surge, and made a small run of their own in the last set to narrow our growing lead, but in the end, we surged ahead ourselves to take the final set 25-17.
All in all, it was a good win for us. I think they're a very solid team in the NY region, and even though we don't have many common opponents, it's a good win for us out of region. Now, we are preparing for another tough Conference Weekend at Amherst this Friday and Saturday as we will take on Wesleyan, Conn, and Trinity. All are dangerous teams, and the seedings for the tournament are all still on the line, so this should be a fun weekend! We are taking each game one game at a time, because we know "a team is only as good as they play, TODAY!" So, we'll see what "today" looks like this afternoon.