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Volleyball: Non-conference schedule ends with loss vs VCU, 2-1 split at Gamecock Invitational

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September 19, 2016

10:37 PM

After going 3-0 in the Colonial Classic, William and Mary finished its homestand with a five-set loss to Virginia Commonwealth during the week before going 2-1 in the Gamecock Invitational in Columbia, S.C. over the weekend to complete the 2016 non-conference slate.

Splitting the last four games 2-2, the Tribe (6-7) has started an upswing from its downhill momentum last weekend after starting the season 1-5. Two of the four matches went to a full five sets, showing the College can go the distance when needed.

Tuesday’s matchup against VCU (8-6) began strongly as the College started with a 2-0 lead, the first two sets won by margins of 25-19 and 26-24. As the score of the second set indicates, the Rams began catching up, which led to a 25-21 third set loss for the Tribe. At 2-1, the College had its worst set of the match, falling 25-13 as VCU forced a tiebreaker. In the fifth set, both teams traded solid rallies, but the Tribe fell by four points 15-11 to hand VCU the win.

Freshman outside-hitter Casey Foote led with 13 kills in the match, while freshman setter Autumn Brenner led in assists with 46 and junior defender Sara Zumbach had a team-high 34 digs.

Following the midweek marathon match, the College traveled to South Carolina for a three-match tournament, facing Gardner-Webb, South Carolina and Davidson.

To open the weekend, the Tribe swept Gardner-Webb 3-0 late on Friday. The dominant performance was never close, as the College won each set by an average of 12 points per set. The Bulldogs (8-5) fell 25-17, 25-12 and 25-10 to give the Tribe its fifth win of the season. Junior outside-hitter Sydney Biniak led the offense with 11 kills, while Brenner tallied another 33 assists and Zumbach added 13 digs.

Following the sweep was the lone loss of the weekend as the College took on host South Carolina, who would enter and leave Saturday undefeated. The Tribe narrowly avoided being swept by taking the third set 25-21, though the game ended in the fourth set as the Gamecocks (12-0) won a nail-biter 25-23 to win the match 3-1. Foote led with 16 kills, Brenner had a huge night with 42 assists, and Zumbach led the backs with 16 digs.

The Tribe saved its most exciting match for last, rolling over Davidson 3-2 in a comeback victory. After falling 25-23 in both the first and second set, the Tribe edged the Wildcats (4-9) in set three 25-22 to turn the tide. A battle in set four equalized the match 2-2 as the College won 26-24. In the deciding fifth set, the tiebreaker went to a tiebreaker of its own as the Tribe went to extra points and came out on top 16-14. Foote continued her strong offensive weekend with 20 kills, closely followed by Biniak with 19.

Brenner was on fire in the setter position, achieving a career-high 64 assists, giving her 139 assists for the tournament and earning her Colonial Athletic Association Offensive Player of the Week honors.

Brenner was on fire in the setter position, achieving a career-high 64 assists, giving her 139 assists for the tournament and earning her Colonial Athletic Association Offensive Player of the Week honors.

The Gamecock Invitational marks the final regular season tournament of the 2016 campaign, which means the Tribe now heads into conference play. The CAA slate begins Wednesday at James Madison with first serve scheduled for 7 p.m.

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Nick Cipolla

Sports Editor Nick Cipolla '17 is a neuroscience major from Virginia Beach, Va. He was previously Associate Sports Editor.

  • Brandon Beejay

    “Make me like Kobe,” I whisper, lacing up the former NBA star’s old tattered sneakers. “Except, you know, without the rape stuff. I hate how America just forgets about all that and continues to carry on like he should be some hero. He was even allowed in commercials for the new Ghostbusters reboot, a movie that shamed people for disliking it on the grounds of sexism. A rapist promoted a pseudo feminist film!!!!”. Unfortunately, while I was muttering this to myself, Ben Franklin dunked over me. Oh shit. It’s game time.

    And it goes, and it goes
    And it goes a little something like this

    Hit it!
    Yo guys, check it out
    Guess what happened to me
    (Another crazy story, come on Beejay)
    I was hanging at the court
    Just playing some ball
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    (Yeah, we heard it all)
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    I thought their love was mine

    But then I saw a shadow
    It was five foot nine,
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    I told him why not, I got some time
    But when I beat you real bad
    Try not to cry

    Yeah, founding father of America and Invention
    (You must’ve been nervous)
    I knew I could take him
    Stared’ at Ben, psyche him out
    I said Franklin, you’re in my congress now
    Start the game the whistle blows
    Pay attention close ’cause the story goes

    It’s like boom (boom)
    I put it in the hoop
    Like slam (slam)
    I heard the crowd screaming out jam (jam)
    Listen close, I won’t mention it again
    ‘Cause that’s how I beat Ben

    It’s like boom (boom)
    I put it in the hoop
    Like slam (slam)
    I heard the crowd screaming out jam (jam)
    Listen close, I won’t mention it again
    ‘Cause that’s how I beat Ben

    So check it out
    I thought I had the lead
    But then he started scoring mad points on me
    I was scorin’ the bricks
    Was he hitting those shots?
    I knew that there was a way that I could make it stop

    I had a plan, that I could change the pace
    I said, Yo Ben, your natural son was a loyalist who probably resented you dragging him out in the middle of the night to fly kites during thunderstorms, and the fact that you had multiple mistresses in France, AND at least one illegitamte child!
    He started crying, I stole the ball
    I’m taking him to school now, watch me all
    A 3-pointer, nothing but net
    Come on Ben, had enough yet?
    Down by two, I’m catching up
    I guess you’re getting nervous
    ‘Cause you already lost

    It’s like boom (boom)
    I put it in the hoop
    Like slam (slam)
    I heard the crowd screaming out jam (jam)
    Listen close, I won’t mention it again
    Cause this is how I beat Ben

    Dunk after dunk
    Jam after jam
    Cheerleaders are cheering
    Beejay’s the man

    Dunk after dunk
    Jam after jam
    Cheerleaders are cheering
    Beejay’s the man

    Announcers were shocked
    They slapped me some skin
    (I can’t believe a kid just stuffed Ben Franklin)
    One more second, was all that remained
    I put the ball up
    I put him in shame
    I must admit that it sounds real crazy
    but the ball went in
    Then he cried like a baby
    Sorry Ben, I should’ve let you win
    You’re good too
    And we can still be friends

    The fans went nuts
    They put me on their shoulders
    Then I heard a voice
    And it sounded like my mother’s

    Ma, can’t you see that I’m playing the game?
    (How you could be playing if you’re still in bed?)
    (Are you gettin’ sick, did you hit your head?)
    Aw, man it was all a dream
    I guess that kinda thing could never happen to me

    But if it was a dream, someone tell me when

    I got a jersey with the name Franklin?
    Woah

    It’s like boom (boom)
    I put it in the hoop
    Like slam (slam)
    I heard the crowd screaming out jam (jam)
    Listen close, I won’t mention it again
    Cause that’s how I beat Ben

    It’s like boom (boom)
    I put it in the hoop
    Like slam (slam)
    I heard the crowd screaming out jam (jam)
    Listen close, I won’t mention it again
    Cause that’s how I beat Ben