A return to the Championship match didn't seem to be our fate this year, and this would be the first time our senior class wasn't part of that match. We came out strongly in the first set against Amherst, and asserted our dominance early on jumping out to an 8-2 lead, and leading for most of the first set. Amherst made a run, however, and tied it up at 17-17, and took their first lead of the set right after, going up 17-19. We took the lead for the final time at 21-20, and never let it go to finish 25-21.
The second set was a
nail biter as both teams slugged it out to a 27-29 finish, but not in
our favor. There would be 16 tie scores in this set, with MIDD having
the opportunity for set point 4 times, and Amherst only having set point
once, but that was all it took for Amherst to steal the set from within
our grasp. We kept making good plays to go up set point, and often
made errors to tie the game back up. Finally, Amherst finished it off
with an error by us, followed by a kill from their OH.
only tie score in the final set was at 2-2, but after that we were
playing catch up the rest of the way. We managed to get down 9-19,
unfortunately, before we made a final push to fight back to 16-20, but
couldn't overcome the deficit, and ended the set, match and season on an
played well. We held their OH1 to 14 kills, but the OH2, who had
previously not been a major factor came through in a big way, also
scoring 14 kills on half as many sets as their OH1. We seemed to try to
ride our seniors into the semi-finals almost single-handedly. In our
previous win over Amherst, our MH's and Olivia combined for 21 kills
compared to only 13 this time.
fought valiantly, however, with both MJ and Amy coming in with
match-high 24 kills apiece. Hannah had a match-high 55 assists, and
Lizzy had a match high 23 digs, but we couldn't quite put enough pieces
together to fashion the win.
Meg came in and aided
our serve receive late in the match, and Olivia and Melanie each had 3
block assists in the effort. We did register 10 more kills than
also 15 more errors. They out-blocked us by only 2, although it felt
worse than that, and we only had one more receiving error, and one more
serving error than they did. I think a key moment came in the second
set when we couldn't convert on any of the 4 set point opportunities.
At this point in the season, you have to get it done when it counts
because you have very limited opportunities. All in all, it was a very
close match, and a very competitive one, so we can all feel good about
that, well, at least now maybe, after a couple of days to let the dust
We did, however, still manage to eat well on
the ride home! It turned out that none of the team, even the seniors
had EVER played at Williams before. Funny how our schedule works out
sometimes. So, we arrived early enough to actually eat a sit-down
dinner in Williamstown before watching some of the early matches that
night. Then, Lisa Barrett turned up with another Goodie-Bag including
the famous caramelitas and Paradise Cookies, and Katie's parents brought
us a bag full of goodies, along with cookies from somewhere else--maybe
Lizzy's dad? We do like our food, and we never seem to be in short
supply, which is fantastic! I think we may have been eating our sadness
out on the way home while we watched Love Actually for about the
hundredth time, it seemed.
You know, it doesn't matter
how long you do this, losing that last match is NEVER easy. It's so
sad to see it all end with a particular group, but the good news for
those of us returning is that we have a lot to build on for next year!
And, we'll miss our seniors very much, but will carry on next year
without them, knowing that they'll be watching us from near and far,
along with our previous alums who still keep track of us. We should
hear about our ED recruits in another few weeks, and that will be
exciting to start thinking about also.
It should be an
eventful off-season with Piper's surgery coming up, Lizzy has a fun
excursion planned for J-term, and Crew will be starting for Lizzy and
Olivia before too long. I'll start the Leadership Training with the
sophomore class over J-term, and we'll meet to go over some of our other
power-point presentations we need to cover still with the team. Our
strength coach will be starting our new off-season workouts with the
team at some point this winter, and we'll hopefully get together to do
some other fun out-of-season activities like skiing and snow-shoeing,
etc. We'll keep you posted here!
GREAT JOB, Team!!