William and Mary 3, Winthrop 2
After searching all weekend for its first win of the season, William and Mary (1-2) prevailed in its final match of the Tribe Invitational Saturday at Kaplan Arena, downing Winthrop 3-2 after a decisive 15-13 come-from-behind victory in the fifth set.
The Tribe’s victory against the Golden Eagles improved its record to 1-2, after a 3-2 loss to Seton Hall Friday morning. The College also fell to eventual tournament champion Wisconsin by a 3-0 margin Friday afternoon, which forced the College to regroup early in the season in the third match against the Golden Eagles.
“This weekend, I think our team got better as the weekend went on, which is our goal for this season and for every weekend,” Head Coach Melissa Shelton ’91 said. “Against Winthrop, we played really well in games one and two, but then Winthrop came back and answered, winning games three and four. At the end of the fourth game, I kind of felt the tide turn a little bit, and we started to make some breaks happen for us and won game five. I was really pleased with the progress.”
The College fell behind early in the first game against Winthrop, but displayed its ability to rally with a 25-23 victory. After winning the second game handily, 25-18, the College was poised to win the match in the third game, but a furious Winthrop rally led to a 27-25 Golden Eagles victory.
The Tribe then fell in the fourth game 25-18, setting the stage for a decisive fifth game. Shelton then turned to her senior core of Erin Skipper, Ginny Bray and Cassie Crumal to clinch the fifth game 15-13 and take the match.
“Any time you can win a game five, and come from behind in game five, it’s such a confidence booster and your team knows they can do it,” Shelton said. “We are going to be in this situation again, have fives happen all the time, and to know that you’ve done it and you can do it again is huge.”
Skipper led the Tribe with 18.5 points, 7 blocks, 10 digs and 15 kills versus Winthrop, while Crumal added 18 points. Junior outside hitter Lindsay Kresch had 13.5 points versus the Golden Eagles, and freshman hitter Paulette Grand Pre contributed 11 points of her own.
After the match, Grand Pre was named to the 2010 Tribe Invitational All-Tournament Team.
Skipper, playing in her final Tribe Invitational as a senior, said she was impressed by the team’s offense.
“We’re running a 6-2, which means we have more hitters, and that means we aren’t relying on one person or two people to get kills,” Skipper said. “Every single person is versatile at getting kills, and in the last points it wasn’t just one person, it was a big team effort to get back. We showed that we had the momentum to do it, which was awesome.”