Friday, November 3, 2017

Tough Final Regular Season Conference Weekend

Our final Conference weekend of the regular season was also Homecoming here at MIDD, so we had a special visitor see us off as we left for Hamilton--THANKS GABI!!  The last time we traveled to Hamilton, we ran into extreme traffic delays due to the Interstate being shut down, and didn't arrive until 9pm for our 8pm match.  This time we arrived in plenty of time, and even saw several students traveling around campus in Halloween costumes already. 

We started strong, jumping out to a 5-0 lead in the first set, but after that ended up with 6 different tie scores, the final one being 20-20 when they scored 5 unanswered points to end the set.  We again got off to a big lead in the 2nd set, posting scores of 11-3, and 18-12, but again they fought back to 22-20, but this time we closed it out 25-22.  The 3rd set was a back and forth affair, with us getting down a few points early, only to go up by a few points, and finished up closing out a close set with the 25-22 win.  The 4th set they pretty much dominated from start to finish as we really couldn't get anything going.  Unfortunately, our woes continued into the start of the 5th set as we fell behind 0-6. We did fight back to within 3 at 9-12, but couldn't pull out of that big of a hole and dropped a tough 5 setter to Hamilton.

We spent the night in Utica, NY and made the trip to Williamstown the next morning.  It was a gorgeous weekend, and we arrived in time to walk the little street there to stretch our legs, and get a coffee, or whatever before heading to the gym to prepare.  They were celebrating a DIG PINK event, which was very nice.  They had even bought our whole team pink shirts to wear for warm-ups, which again was very nice of them.  The gym was decked out in pink balloons, pink floor tape, and all the pink warm up shirts, so it was a festive environment. 

Our match with Williams was a bit of a roller coaster, as both teams had spells of great volleyball, and spells of not really putting it together.  We traded sets back and forth, with Williams taking a close first set 25-21.  Despite being down big most of the set, we fought back to make it a game.  With the score at 13-20, we scored 8 of 9 points to tie it at 21-21, before their final surge won them the set.  The second set, we ran away with it from start to finish, tying the match at 1-1 on a 25-11 set score.  The 3rd set we built a slow lead of 19-15 before they had a run of 8 unanswered points to take a lasting lead 23-19, and finished out the set 25-21.  We fought back in the 4th set, trading points for most of the set.  With a slim lead of 17-15, we out-scored them 8-1 to tie it up and force a deciding 5th set!

Similarly to the night before, however, we got off to a slow start in the 5th, getting behind 1-5 right off the bat.  We narrowed the lead to 1 at 7-8 before another three point surge by them put them up 11-8, and they finished out the win 15-10.  It was a disappointing weekend for sure, but we'll have a week to prepare for the NESCAC Tournament, which could be as wide open as ever this year, so we'll see what we can do here in the post season!


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