We took a break from our Conference weekends to face off with three of the top ranked teams in our Region this past weekend, and came away with 2 big wins. On Friday night, we faced a tough Babson team that was ranked 8th in the Region before the weekend. We battled to a tight loss in the first set 25-22, but after that, the best thing that came of it was Gigi's match high 16 digs, putting her over her 1000th career Dig! We struggled to put it all together because we definitely did some good things, but we just didn't put it all together enough facing a tough in-Region team.
We had a good fan section with the Anderson family, Beth's parents, Corley's family from CA (whom she was SO excited to see!), Claire's family, Gigi's mom and sister, Sarah's dad and sister and friends, Chellsa's dad, Jerry, plus others I'm sure I'm missing! We didn't necessarily give them a show on Friday, but on Saturday, we turned things around. A funny thing happened when we checked into our hotel Friday night: there was a Middlebury hat on display at the front desk! Good omen of things to come, I think!
Saturday morning we headed to MIT to take on the host school (currently ranked #4 Regionally, and #25 Nationally). We started out strong and took the first set behind strong serving, good hitting and we got some key blocks on their big hitter, which was great. The second set was very competitive, but they got hot and their big hitter that we'd contained in the first set exploded for 7 kills, and we dropped the second set by the same score we'd won the first by: 25-19.
The third set belonged to us again as we got out to a 12-5 lead, and continued on to have a 17-9 lead. They closed the gap to 5 points at 19-14, but a 6-1 run by us was enough to put the game away for the 2-1 set lead. The 4th set saw us get behind early 1-4 before coming back to go ahead 6-4. We traded points a bit until we opened up leads of 16-11 and 20-14. They closed the gap to a 22-18 margin before we finished them off for the win 25-19. Overall we had a very solid match hitting .288 for the game and out-blocked MIT, which was great to see. We had three hitters all in double digit kills (Corley with 10, Shea with 11, and Isabel with 15, and Sarah had 9--ALL 4 hit over .300, too!).
Our day was only half over at that point as we still had to play Springfield College at 3:30 pm. The game schedule allowed all teams enough time to actually eat and relax a little before having to prepare to play again, which was really nice. We hung out, some hit the nearby Dunkin Donuts for our favorite iced coffee, and then we started warming up again to take on Springfield.
Springfield had been ranked #2 in our Region before the weekend, and were coming off a win vs Williams before we played them. The got up on us early and we were behind the entire set until we finally tied it 22-22, but they scored the final three for the first set win. We seemed to find some energy somewhere and came out strongly in the next set to take a 10-5 lead after trading points to a 5-5 tie early on. We would then open up a 20-9 lead and never look back. The third set was very even through the middle part of the game to an 11-11 tie. We then went on a run to put us up 22-14 and we put the set away. They were not going anywhere and battled back to take the 4th set 25-20 on strings of short runs.
The deciding and final set was ALL MCVB! We jumped out to a 5-1 lead, and then an 11-3 lead and cruised to a decisive 15-5 5th set win! I was very proud of everyone one on the team as we hung in there after a disappointing loss Friday night, and had to battle out two tough wins on Saturday. To have lost the 4th set to Springfield and then come back in decisive fashion the way we did to win the 5th was also great to see. Well done, MIDD. For her efforts, Isabel was named the NESCAC Player of the Week, so congrats to Isabel, and the MCVB Team!
We have one final mid-week this week before we face our final two NESCAC foes in Hamilton and Williams this weekend to determine the Tournament seeding. We're excited to keep playing and see if we can keep elevating our level of play as we head into Tourney-time!! To help keep us fresh we did a relaxing yoga session with our resident guru, Prem Prakash! Thanks Prem--we love our Monday Yoga!!