Opening weekend of the 2017 Season started with a very long, but successful day! Our first match was scheduled for 4pm, and our second one for 8pm, so we had time to get food in between, which was nice. This was our longest weekend by far of the season with four matches and only 9 people since our freshmen were all on their respective Orientation Trips. The first match of the day (not ours) was a 5 setter, so the whole schedule the rest of the day was behind. We beat SUNY Oneonta 3-0, but still didn't get to start our Union match until almost 9:30 pm Friday night. After winning the first two sets, we dropped the next two and ended up winning in the 5th set at almost 11:30 pm. We like to get Dunkin Donuts coffee in the morning, but we may have needed it the next morning more than some mornings. We did get to sleep in, though, so all in all, it wasn't all that bad since we didn't play until the 1pm match Saturday.
Here's the basic recap of the weekend:
SUNY Oneonta--we pretty much dominated the match, which was great for us in our season opener. They had just come off a long match right before, but it was our first match of the season, so you never know. We hit .400 for the game as a team, and Sarah had 10 kills on 11 swings for a .909 hitting %, which is ridiculous in college volleyball and they're not even that bad of a team (well done, Sarah!!); AND Chellsa attacked for 5 kills on 7 swings, which as a setter means she picked her spots very well indeed! Becca hit .500 with a match high 14 kills on 22 swings. Gig and Beth led the team in digs with 11 and 8 respectively, and thus it was a very good start to our season.
Union--what a match! We won the first two sets, and although they were competitive, I was really hoping for our players that we were going to be able to close it out in three sets...not to be. We narrowly lost the 3rd set 23-25 before dropping the 4th also 20-25. However, we jumped out in the 5th to lead 4-1 and never looked back as we stayed at least 3 points ahead the rest of the way and closed it out 15-10 on a service ace by Becca, a kill by Isabel, and a couple of errors by them. it was late, but a win makes it worth the late night in the gym!
The next day we slept in, ate breakfast and had our Dunks on our way back to the gym for our 2nd full day of volleyball with two more matches. Most weekends will be 2 matches with a couple being 3 matches, but we won't play 4 matches in one weekend the rest of the season. Here's day two's highlights:
Stevens Institute--Very competitive match, and we were the only team there that weekend that took a set from them. They're very good, don't get me wrong, but we were right there with them the whole time. We battled the first set to an extra points victory 26-24 before dropping our least contested set 15-25 in set two. The third set was again a back and forth battle to extra points, this time tipping for the Ducks, unfortunately 24-26. In the fourth set we would trade points, and then go behind by 3-4 points, and then come back to either tie it, or get to within one point, and then go behind again by a few points. We were tied 8-8, close at 14-15, and then went down 16-20. After that we fought back to a 21-22 score before dropping the final three points for the 21-25 loss.
By the final match against Brockport, I'm afraid we may have run out of steam a bit. The team hung in there, and dropped the first set 20-25, but battled back to take a 23-21 lead in the second set before dropping the final 4 points to lose the set 23-25. We controlled a competitive 3rd set 23-25, but led the entire way after getting out to a 3-0 lead, and never letting it go this time. However, in the fourth set, we fell behind by quite a bit and fought back, but just couldn't quite muster the strength to push a 5th set.
Overall, I was very happy with our fight, our composure, and our play in general. It was an exhausting weekend of volleyball with everyone on the bench playing in every match. They all hung in there and kept a great attitude the whole time, which is a good foundation upon which to build. Becca was awarded All-Tournament Team for the weekend, but everyone really contributed and everyone had moments of shining excellence over the weekend, which was really great to see.
We're excited about this year, and having our full team means that we have options in almost every position, which is great. We have the week of practice to recover a bit, move forward with our conditioning and keep moving ahead with our skills, which is all exciting and fun! This coming weekend will be our opening NESCAC weekend. Let's GO MIDD!!