Following a winless stay in St. Louis, the College of Willam and Mary earned four victories this weekend at the Hilton/RTP N.C. State Classic thanks to aggressive play.
The College showed signs of improvement over the weekend, going undefeated in the tournament and boosting its record to 7-3 on the season.
“It’s really all coming together for us,” Head Coach Melissa Shelton said. “We are getting a lot more out of our middle attack, our serving is more aggressive and we’re able to put teams on the defensive right away, and our setters are understanding how we want the balls distributed among our hitters.”
The Tribe beat its opponents in kills (192-122) and serving aces (21-16), finding the corners with its attacks and serving aggressively.
After a tough opening match with the University of North Carolina-Asheville, the Tribe rolled through North Carolina State University, Norfolk State University and Western Carolina University without giving up a set.
“We have a deep bench that really helped us maintain our momentum throughout the tournament,” sophomore middle blocker Ginny Bray said.
Bray, who was named tournament MVP, averaged nine kills per match. She had 10 kills in the Tribe’s first match against UNC-Asheville, which proved the College’s toughest opponent of the tournament.
The Tribe quickly fell behind the Bulldogs 2-0, committing 23 errors in the first two games.
“UNC-Asheville came out ready to play and we did not,” Shelton said. “It was a great wake up call for us and [a reminder] that we need to be ready to go at every instance.”
Bray and sophomore outside hitter Erin Skipper sparked a Tribe comeback with 25 combined kills in the last three sets. Defensively, senior liberos — defensive specialists — Jo Sotto and Jill Nowadly played a big role for the Tribe, recording 19 digs each. Their play allowed senior setter Kim Mount, who recorded her second double-double of the season with 57 assists and 10 digs, to set up the College attack.