Our first Conference Weekend started out on a good note, since we could finally travel South in Vermont without having to go North first! The roads were all open, and with only a slight detour just south of Rutland before getting on Rte. 103. It had been several years since we'd been to Wesleyan, and we'd never played in their new beautiful new Facility for basketball and volleyball. After that, however, there wasn't a lot to celebrate on Friday night.
Trinity was almost the same team as last year, after losing only their Right Side to graduation, and boasting 6 seniors this year. We'd split with them last year, but had beaten them handily in the Conference Quarters, and felt good going into the match, I thought. We split the first two games, fairly evenly, but after that, it was mostly Trinity. They really only have two hitters, their outsides, and they set them everywhere on the court. You would think we could stop that, but we just didn't ever get in a groove ourselves, and despite their limited hitters, those two are very good hitters. On top of that, Trinity always plays great defense, and you always expect every ball to come back, and they usually do. The stats, however, were basically even, except for a few key areas. We had 5 more hitting errors (9-4 over the last two sets). We struggled on receive with 10 RE to their 4, and we had 4 Ball Handling Errors to their none, but otherwise, the stat lines were pretty similar. When every game is decided by 5 or less points, however, every error makes a difference.
MJ led our offense with 17 kills, while Stud added 12, and Maddie, Elissa, and Amy all had 5 each. Julia ran our offense with 40 assists, and MJ and Caitlin led our defense with 17 and 14 digs. Maddie came through with 4 Block Assists. Piper and Lizzy both saw limited action, but both came off the bench ready to go.
With their seniority, Trinity just seemed to be playing together very well, and I think we seemed to be showing some growing pains. We have shuffled things around just a bit to compensate for some injuries, and I think we just were not quite in a "groove" for lack of a better explanation. In that light, however, we found our groove on Saturday. Saturday dawned a new day, and after a stop at our beloved Dunkin Donuts, we headed for the gym, armed with many an ice coffee, ready for a new challenge.
Despite our caffeine rush, we lost the first game to Wesleyan, but were undaunted in our quest for a victory. In game one, we struggled in serve receive on one particular server, and we got in a rut, and dug a hole, and had trouble climbing out. After that first game, however, we put on a serving show of our own, or should I say, Amy Hart put on a show! Amy had 7 service aces to go along with Julia's 4, to easily overcome their one hot server who had 6 aces against us. We were scrappy, and kept balls in play that had dropped the night before, and we out-blocked them, which was great to see. Our top three hitters (Amy-14, Stud-13, and MJ-10) all hit .380 or better, which is fantastic. Julia ran a varied, and balanced offense which saw us dominate the last three sets not allowing Wesleyan to score more than 15 points in any of those sets.
It's always nice to get a win before getting back on the bus for home. It was Piper's Birthday, too, so the captains had made her a cake, someone brought a balloon, and parents brought goodies, snacks, and dinner for the ride home! We had sandwiches, cookies, homemade salads, cupcakes, cake--needless to say, we do love our food, and fortunately for us, the parents know their kids well and provide us with many wonderful meals. We didn't get our furry hugs and kisses this time, but we'll see Maggie and Chloe again, I'm sure. The Barrett's dogs are like team mascots of sorts!
We hit the court again on Tuesday at Union.