CLINTON, NY – The Wesleyan volleyball team improves to 14-2 with wins over Hamilton and St. Lawrence on Saturday. They had to compete hard to come back from a two-set deficit to kick the double-header in Clinton, NY. The NESCAC battle against the Hamilton Continentals (5-8, 2-6 NESCAC) went all five complete sets and ended in victory for the Cardinals with scores of 21-25, 14-25, 25 -18, 25-20 and 15-10. The Cardinals ended their double-header with a win over St. Lawrence University (11-9) in an intense three-inning game. After a long game against Hamilton, Wesleyan took care of business against the Saints with scores of 25-23, 25-23 and 25-16.
HAMILTON MATCH HIGHLIGHTS
- The Continentals started with a lead, but Wesleyan refused to turn after their slow start in the first set. A few too many errors from the Cardinals gave Hamilton an 11-19 lead. Wesleyan battled to come back at 21-23, but it was too little too late as the set slipped away from them 21-25.
- Disheartened at giving up the first set, Wesleyan quickly fell behind Hamilton with the biggest points deficit he had in weeks. A service performed by the passer Maya Lopansri ’25 brought the Cardinals back from an 11-point deficit, but it wasn’t enough to win the set 14-25.
- Something clicked for the Cardinals in the third set. They started out leading the game 10-2 and never let up. The Continentals felt the pressure and began a string of attacking errors which led to Wesleyan’s first win of the day in the 25-18 set.
- Hamilton came back strong in the fourth set, but Wesleyan took the lead at 12-12. The Continentals fought back to tie the set at 20-20, but Kiana Yuhl ’25 finished the game for the Cardinals with a four-serve streak to make it 25-20.
- Fifth sets are always high stakes, and this one was no different. The two teams remained within three points of each other until the end when Wesleyan dug in to end the game 15-10.
- This game was one of the mistakes for both teams. That being said, Kate Long ’24 had some very impressive swings and led the Cardinals offense with 12 kills followed by Brina Kuslak ’22 and Maddie Kurke ’22 with 11 wins and 8 wins respectively.
- Libero Jenna Otaola ’22 took care of the Wesleyan defense with 21 digs in the five-set match. Otaola was assisted by Yuhl ’25 and Lopansri ’25 with 12 digs and 10 digs respectively.
- The game leaders on offense for the Continentals were Kate Carman with 21 kills and Deirdre Corrigan with 13 kills. Setter Melissa Morelli had 40 assists and 14 digs in the game, followed by Cece Nourie with 12 digs.
ST. LAWRENCE MATCH HIGHLIGHTS
- After watching the Cardinals take on the Continentals just an hour before, the Saints came out strong and took a 10-14 lead, but Wesleyan practiced coming from behind all weekend. This first set was no different. From 14-14, the two teams went point for point until 25-23.
- The second set started slow again for the Cardinals, but the server of the day Kiana Yuhl ’25 brought Wesleyan back to tie the game at 18-18. In an almost identical bout for the first set, Wesleyan held on to win the second set 25-23.
- Finally able to build momentum behind them, Wesleyan secured an eight-point lead in the third set that kept growing. Smart tuning from the first year Maya Lopansri ’25 and Saints errors helped Wesleyan finish the game 25-16.
- Kate Long ’24 had another great game for Wesleyan with 11 kills in three sets. Sidney Smith ’25 and Mariko Tanaka ’24 followed Long’s lead on the offensive front with 7 wins and 5 wins respectively.
- Three Cardinals had 4 blocks against the Saints: Tanaka ’24, Lopansri ’25 and Kuslak ’22. Supporting them in defense were Jenna Otaola ’22, Yuhl ’25, and Bianca Ortiz ’24 with 13 digs, 8 digs and 7 digs respectively.
- Natalie Piper led the offense for St. Lawrence with 22 kills. Piper also had 12 digs with Annika Kreppein and Reagan Collier-Hogan who also had 12 digs each.
Wesleyan has a break from NESCAC competition next weekend with a big trip to Huntingdon, Pennsylvania to play in the WID Guisler Invitational on October 22-23. There they will play: Juniata, Carnegie Mellon and York (PA.).