Judges sweep regional foes in home matchups
After a difficult start to their season, the women’s volleyball team has started to pick up some momentum after winning both of their matches this week. Playing with home court advantage in both matches, the Judges came back to defeat Wheaton College in five sets on Tuesday and defeated Emerson College in three sets on Thursday.
The win on Thursday gave the Judges victories in three of their last four matches, bringing their overall record to 4-7.
The Judges defeated Emerson by a final score of 25-21, 25-21, 25-10. Emerson stayed with the Judges all throughout the first two sets, as the Judges only came away with 25-21 wins. The third set was a totally different story as the Judges finished the short match that did not even last an hour and a half.
Outside hitter Liz Hood ’15 led the team with 12 kills and .407 hitting percentage. She was followed by middle blocker Summer Koop ’16 who had an impressive 10 kills of her own. Middle blocker Jessica Kaufman ’17 recorded eight kills and two blocks.
Kaufman said that the improved play has come with an understanding of coach Aleisa Vaccari’s system.
“Things have really started to click for the team lately,” she said. “We’ve really started to embrace and understand the way coach Vaccari wants the team to run, as well as being more understanding of each other.”
Setter Julie Kim ’18 had an exceptional game in which she tallied 37 assists to go along with 12 digs. Libero Elsie Bernaiche ’15 played solid defense with her 15 digs.
Tuesday’s game against Wheaton College was not quite as easy as the three setter against Emerson, as the Judges needed the full five sets to defeat Wheaton by a score of 19-25, 20-25, 25-22, 25-15, 15-11.
Facing the possibility of losing the match in three sets, the Judges found themselves down 22-20 in the third set. The team rallied to win the next five points and win their first set of the match, 25-22.
Kaufman added that the team turned their mentality around in the third set.
“After the second set we all came together and realized that our team is better than how we were playing,” she said. “Everyone started communicating, celebrating, and focusing on the win that each of us knew we were capable of.”
The Judges started the fourth set by losing nine of the first 14 points, but then managed to reel off an incredible 20-6 run to win 25-15.
The fifth and final set again saw Wheaton take the early lead when they were up 5-2, but once again, the Judges stayed composed and resilient. The Judges went on to win eight of the last 11 points to take the fifth set by a 15-11 score.
Hood once again led the team with 15 kills but was followed closely by fellow outside hitter Jessie Moore ’18 who had 14 kills.
Bernaiche once again played tremendously consistent defense with another 15 digs.
Kaufman said she felt confident about the team’s chances going forward. “I think that if we continue to play how we’ve been playing and know that we can always do better, there will be no stopping us,” she said. “Confidence is going to be the key to our success, so it will be our confidence that pushes us through as far as we can go.”
The Judges take their hard-earned winning streak into tonight’s match at home against Simmons College, beginning at 7 p.m.