Tuesday, October 18, 2016

MIDD Gets 3 of 4 Key NESCAC Wins!

We had two home weekends in a row with key NESCAC games.  The first weekend saw Bowdoin and Tufts come to town, followed by the "Purple Weekend" against both Amherst and Williams.

The first weekend we celebrated Parent's Weekend, and started it out with a win over Bowdoin 3-0.  The sets were all close, but having faced them last in the NESCAC semi-finals last year, it was great to get that win in straight sets.  The scores were all close, but there were pretty big swings within the sets.  Set one saw MIDD get out to a 17-11 lead only to see that margin narrow to 23-21 before we registered the last two points for the win.  Set two saw us go up by a few points early, only to find us trailing 19-21 late. Again, a final push where we scored 6 of the final 8 points for a 25-23 win in set 2.  The final set was similar again, only going down by a few points early to storm back to a 20-19 lead and wouldn't trail again trading points before taking the final set 25-22.

The following day we played Tufts at 2pm, followed by our MCVB family dinner at Flatbread.  The match was a back and forth, tightly contested match, but also saw both teams go on stretches where they were more dominant with Tufts winning the first set 25-17 and MIDD taking the second 25-14.  Set three was closer, but MIDD couldn't quite come up with the win, losing 25-22, but again in the 4th set, we pulled away for a 25-17 win, forcing the final 5th set.  Tied 9-9, we ran out of time to overcomeTufts final push, losing 11-15.  It was a great match, but unfortunately, we came up on the short end of that final set.  Former player, Whitney Bean Stewart was in town that weekend for her brother's soccer game, so we got to catch up a bit at Flatbread, which was great!

In what proved to be a very nice, long home stand, we played at home again the following weekend after a mid-week away match at Skidmore.  In that match, we easily swept a team that we hadn't seen since the first weekend of the season, which had a similar outcome as well.

To finish our home stand, we faced both Amherst and Williams, with whom we were in a three way tie for 2nd in NESCAC coming into the weekend.  Amherst was our first opponent on Friday night, and we came out firing on all fronts and easily won 25-15.  Amherst wouldn't go down easily, coming back to win the 2nd set 25-21 before we closed them out in the next two sets 25-19, and 25-16 for the match win.

Saturday afternoon we celebrated Senior Day before our Williams match.  Hannah, Gabi, Charlotte and Melanie were honored and presented with flowers before the match.  Everyone but Charlotte had at least one parent here, which was great, and Brian and Meg stepped in as Charlotte's "parents".  We opened up the first set with a 25-21 win.  Similar to the night before, Williams was definitely not going down without a fight as they handled us to even the match winning set two 25-18.  Set three saw us get a 5 point lead in the middle of the set, but Williams closed the gap to two 20-18 before we made our final push to take the 3rd set 25-20, and a 2-1 lead in the match.  The final set was started out very close as we clung to a 9-8 lead before going on a 12-1 run to blow the set wide open.  While we were up 21-9, we had trouble closing out the final set as Williams came storming back behind several kills by Williams senior Jasuta, bringing them all the way back to match point down 24-20 before Isabel got a kill down the line for the match win.

Hannah had a fun surprise visitor as her HS coach who's now retired came to see her play!  She hadn't gotten to see her play in college, and so planned this trip to surprise her for senior day!  How fun!  She'd never been to this part of the country before and was enjoying the scenery as well as getting to see Hannah play again (and was impressed)!  After the match, the senior parents bought some cupcakes, and Melanie's mom gave each of the girls a framed picture of all four team pictures in a vertical frame for their MCVB memories.  So nice!  It was great to see all of the family support here both weekends, so thank you all for coming out to support us!!

Now, this weekend we're off to Boston to play in the New England Challenge where we'll play Babson Friday night, and then both Springfield and MIT on Saturday.  GO MIDD!!

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