In a culture where the majority of sports arguments center around a certain team or player being extremely overrated or underrated, William and Mary has achieved a rare feat: anonymity through mediocrity. With the Friday night 3-0 loss to Colonial Athletic Association opponent Hofstra in Hampstead, N.Y. followed by the 3-1 victory over CAA foe Northeastern Sunday night in Boston, Mass., the Tribe is on pace for a highly predictable season of dispatching inferior teams with ease while never threatening to upset a favored opponent.
Hofstra (12-6, 3-0 CAA) steamrolled the College in the first set to the tune of a 7-0 start, eventually securing the lopsided point via a 25-17 victory with no ties. The Pride’s lead was shortened to 10-7 at one point off a pair of kills by senior Dessi Koleva, but William and Mary was unable to build any further momentum.
The Tribe fully awoke in the second set, playing to a 12-12 score midway through with eight ties before the set slipped away to a 25-22 Hofstra victory. The College nearly pulled in front at the end, down a single point on a 2-0 run with the score at 22-21, but the hosts recovered for the win.
The final set was similarly dismal to the first for the College, as the Pride rattled off a pair of 3-0 runs and a 4-0 run to clinch the set at 25-17. William and Mary has not beaten the Pride since 2012.
On Sunday the Tribe (7-8, 1-1) cruised past the Huskies of Northeastern in a 3-1 victory. The Huskies (4-14, 1-2) are off to a horrendous start to 2015 and consequently flopped in the first set against a near-perfect Tribe attack. The College fired a .462 attack percentage for the first set, and cruised to an error-free 25-18 win.
The Tribe continued the momentum into the second set, but nearly lost a 17-10 advantage on a late Huskie surge. Koleva, the College’s lead scorer of the game, notched two of her 16 match kills in the final points to edge the Tribe ahead of Northeastern by a 25-21 margin.
Northeastern finally put together a solid set in the third, stealing the Tribe’s shutout chance with a hotly contested 25-22 win. William and Mary sneaked ahead of the Huskies in the final set with a 21-20 lead after trailing since the third point and maintained the narrow advantage for the 25-23 victory over the conference opponent.
As Northeastern finished last season at 10-20 while Hofstra completed a 28-6 campaign in 2014, the Tribe is emerging somewhere in the middle of the pack of the CAA, despite leading the conference in returning All-CAA players with three (Koleva, redshirt junior Michelle Heath and sophomore Sara Zumbach.)
The Tribe thus far has performed up to par, as the combined record of opponents the Tribe has defeated is a putrid 27-87, or roughly a .234 winning percentage. On the flip side of the coin, the Tribe has lost eight games to teams with a combined record of 63-55. The Tribe has not defeated a team with a winning record, and has lost twice to teams with a losing record.
However, a middle of the pack performance from the College is better than last year’s 7-24 campaign, as the 2015 squad has already tied last season’s win total. Up next for the Tribe is a homestead weekend against two conference opponents: Towson and James Madison. Friday’s tipoff against Towson is set for 7 p.m. at Kaplan Arena, while Sunday’s matchup against James Madison will begin at 2 p.m. in the same location