After a long, tough weekend without our full team, we were ready to start classes and have a week to prepare for our first Conference weekend. Our schedule started off with Amherst on Friday night, followed by Trinity Saturday afternoon. Pre season turned out to be perfect weather-wise with cooler temperatures and sunny days, but these past few days summer was back with hot, humid days.
Friday night we arrived at Amherst for our opening NESCAC match up, which was a hot evening, despite the open doors and evening hours. It was a doozy, for sure. We both battled the night away, into a 5th set finale which we pulled out in style, I think. We lost the first set by 3 points, only to win the 2nd by 3 points. The third set saw us get out to a bigger lead than either of the first two sets when we went up by as many as 5 or 6 points. However, they battled back in the late 20's to take a lead and not give it up for the comeback (and go ahead) win in set 3. Down 2 sets to 1, we battled back and forth in the 4th set, and then opened up a little lead and hung on to take that set 25-22 and forced a 5th set.
The fifth set was another back and forth battle. We went ahead late and took a 12-9 lead, but they tied it up at 13-13, and went ahead 14-13 for their first and only match point. Eliana tooled their block, and then Isabel rolled a nice off-speed shot down into the court, and then they had a hitting error to give us the final point of the match.
We spent the night in Springfield, MA (which had a Dunkin Donuts attached to our parking lot!) before heading to Trinity on Saturday. We faced another tough Conference foe and battled back and forth before taking the first set 25-23. In the second set Trinity came out strong and dug everything we seemed to be hitting at them, and blocked us pretty well, and won that set somewhat handily 25-19. We battled right back in the next two sets to win convincingly with 25-19 and 25-18 scores to close out the match.
We're very happy with the play of everyone involved, and since this was our Rookie's first weekend of action, almost all of them found their way into the game and did a great job. Jaime was starting at middle hitter, Rebecca came in to serve and play defense for Sarah, and Shea spelled Isabel for a bit, so it's really great to see the team coming together like this so early in the season. We're excited about where we're going, and we have a week now with only non-Conference opponents before starting our Home Stretch at the end of the month. We have a lot to work on and fine tune, of course, but it's great to see our resiliency and composure in tact this early!