Sunday, October 7, 2012

MIDD Downs Hamilton, Loses to #12 Cortland

Heading to Hamilton, we knew we had two tasks at hand.  We needed to secure one more Conference win by beating Hamilton, and we also wanted to test our squad against a Nationally ranked opponent.  To top it off, SUNY Cortland was the team that ended our season last year, and headed on to the Elite 8 after winning the NY Regional.  Despite a rainy ride over on Friday night, Saturday turned out to be quite nice, even though we were inside all day.

First things first, however, and that was Hamilton.  We felt good going in to the match, despite still playing without Julia.  Kathryn has stepped into running the 5-1 with ease, and our offense has responded really well.  We hit .347 as a team against Hamilton, and were led by Olivia with 11, Amy with 10, and Piper with 9 kills.  Piper had NO hitting errors, and Olivia only had 1.  It was a nice team win, and we had good contributions from Lauren, Meg and Lizzy, in addition to the other starters. 

After a wonderful lunch provided by Stud's mom and dad, we regrouped to play again at 2pm against Cortland.  Even though we knew that Cortland would be a good match, I feel like we maybe didn't believe that we could beat them from the start.  They are a big blocking team, and they have a very balanced attack, similar to us.  We seemed to come out a little tentative, and we didn't quite find our rhythm until the 3rd game, and by that time, it was a little bit too late.  We tried our hardest to extend the match and work our way back into it by taking a game, but we just couldn't quite seem to pull it out. 

We trailed most of the first two sets, but the 3rd set was very much back and forth most of the way.  We saw our hitting % drop to .075, and we were out blocked 14-9 for the match.  The last game was where the action was, at least for us.  The most anyone led the entire set was when they got out to an 0-3 lead.  We had a brief lead of 11-9, but mostly it was either tied, or we were up or down a point.  We got down 22-24, and made a comeback to tie it at 24, but would then we would both have our opportunities to win the set, but neither team could get ahead by the necessary two points until they finally got us at 35-33.

In that last game, however, both Piper and Maddie has started to figure out their middles, and both had their best hitting set with 4-1-8 stats for Piper, and 3-1-11 for Maddie.  I think we learned a lot about ourselves, and that will be good moving forward.  It was a great match overall, and was a very fun third set for sure!  We've had only one other set quite like that, and that was against MIT last year at the Hall of Fame Tournament. 

Since we have a contingent from mid-state NY, both Lizzy's parents and Stud's parents were taking good care of us with regard to food!  We had food in between games, and then for the ride home, we had platters of pasta, salads, fruit, snacks, oh, and those famous parfaits by Stud's mom!!  And, lemon bars, which I think Maddie had hoped for (or maybe even asked for?!)  So good!!  Of course, I took pictures of the food.  :)

We have a full schedule coming up, so I think it was a good weekend to really get tested, and see where we are, and what we have to focus on at this point in the season.  We're traveling to Skidmore on Tuesday, and then on to Amherst and Trinity over the weekend for two more Conference matches.  It's getting to the really exciting part of the season where everything starts to come together, and we're all looking forward to putting our game out there on the line, and seeing what we can do, improving one day at a time.

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