The match against Hamilton was a bit of a struggle in the first set, as we got out to a 2-4 point lead that we held on to until about the mid-way point up 14-9, but then we fell behind 16-20 before a late surge tied it at 22-22, and then we pulled it out 25-23. The second set we got in a good groove and jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. The 3rd set saw us get behind early, and then fight to stay close behind 11-14 when they scored 7 unanswered points to take a commanding 22012 lead and win the 3rd set easily. We bounced back in the 4th, however, and took an early lead of a few points that we would not relinquish to end the set with a 25-20 lead and the win.
Saturday we celebrated Senior Day! It was a special day, as I eluded to earlier. Ellie sang both the American National anthem and the Canadian National anthem to honor our Canadian senior, Claire, which was a great start to our day.
Then, we had a very competitive match with Williams in which they took set 1 by a 25-19 score. We had jumped out to an early lead of a couple of points but they tied it at 16-16 and after trading points a bit, they had 5 unanswered points to take a 24-18 lead and then the win in set 1. We were undaunted and despite going down by a couple points early, their final lead of the second set was 11-10. We had a couple of good runs and they would tie it again 17-17 but couldn't get the advantage as we surged ahead again to go up 22-17 and finished out the set 25-21 to tie the match at 1-1.
The third and sometimes crucial set was nip and tuck the whole way with 11 tied scores, the final being 23-23 before they had an attack error followed by a kill from Sarah to end the set and take the match lead 2 sets to 1. What would become the final set saw Williams jump out again to an early lead of a few points, but after we tied it at 8-8, we never let up and lead the rest of the way. We held narrow leads of 1 or 2 points until we went up 17-14 on a kill by Isabel (one of her career tying 23!), and from that point we outscored them 8-5 to finish out the match. A true highlight was match point when Sarah Staver POUNDED the ball to the floor untouched and with tremendous force to put an exclamation point on the win!
Not only was it senior night and parents weekend, but we also had the Essex High School Girls Volleyball Team in the stands to watch us play. They had just won a playoff game and were headed to the Semi-finals of the State Tournament and we loved having them there to watch us play. After our match, we had a short meet and greet and had the girls all split off by position to talk about volleyball and playing in college etc. It was very nice as VT HS volleyball is really still in it's infancy and it's great for those girls to see collegiate volleyball at this level. It was a very competitive match and I was so proud of the team for hanging in there and staying mentally strong through a very tight match and coming from behind in almost every set, and then hanging on to a slim lead late in those sets.