Friday, William and Mary hosted the Colonial Classic. In its first contest, the Tribe (4-5) completed a straight-sweep of Savannah State (1-7) 25-10, 25-15, 25-21.
The College jumped to an early 2-0 lead in the first set with a kill by sophomore middle blocker Julia Brown off an assist by junior setter Autumn Brenner. Up 12-6, the Tribe strung together a four-point run off another kill by Brown and a kill by sophomore opposite hitter Kate Dedrick, both off sets by Brenner, and a service ace by Brown. After another four-point run thanks to successful plays by senior middle blocker Katie Primatic, senior setter Katie Kemp and senior outside hitter Heather Pippus, the Tribe found itself in a comfortable 23-8 lead over the Tigers. A strong hit by freshman outside hitter Macy Cummings off a Kemp assist ended the set in a 25-10 victory for the home team.
The second set started out in the same manner, with the Tribe jumping to an early 2-0 lead thanks to a kill by Dedrick and a service ace by Brenner. Despite the Hurricanes’ Noria Plaza Ceballos and Tyran Chenault’s shut out block of a hit by Pippus, tying the score 2-2, Savannah State was unable to take the lead in the set. A kill by Pippus off a Brenner assist and a ball handling error by Savannah State put the College up 22-12, a 10-point deficit for the opposing team. A service ace by Pippus ended the second set 25-10, leaving the Tigers in the same 10-point shortfall.
In the final set of the contest, the Tribe jumped to a 5-0 lead to start. Up 24-15, a single point away from a shutout of the Tigers, the visiting team ignited a six-point streak, bringing the set to a three-point game, 24-21. Freshman outside hitter Anne Louise Seekford ended the game with a kill off a clean set from Brenner. The College more than doubled the Hurricane’s aces 10-4. Dedrick and Pippus led the offence with eight kills each, followed closely by Cummings.
Saturday, in its second matchup, the Tribe dropped all three sets to Eastern Michigan (8-3). The College fought hard in the first two sets, but ultimately fell 25-21 and 25-20 to the Eagles. The third and final set was marked by four and six-point runs by the Eagles. Down 22-12, the Tribe was unable to come back from the 10-point deficit and fell 25-12, handing Eastern Michigan a three-set shutout.
Despite freshman outside hitter Claire Farrell’s high-scoring 11 kills, the Eagles outscored the Tribe in points (65-39), kills (51-33) and assists (46-32).
Later Saturday evening, the College took on Norfolk State (0-8) in the final matchup of the Colonial Classic. In a repeat of its first contest of the tournament, the Tribe swept the Spartans in three tight sets, 25-23, 25-21, 25-19.
In the first set, the Tribe jumped to an early 7-1 lead, awakened by a kill by Seekford off a Brenner assist. Norfolk State trailed for the majority of the match until they tied it up 22-22. The Spartans were able to steal the lead from the College, 23-22, before it came back thanks to two consecutive hits by Seekford, resulting in a 25-23 victory.
The second set lacked the back-and-forth scoring of the first set, with more multiple point streaks by each team. The last time the score was tied, 18-18, was the closest the Spartans would come to a victory. Freshman middle blocker Madeline Bertz and Dedrick blocked an attack by the opposing team, stealing back the lead 19-18. Seekford scored the winning point of the second set off a Kemp assist, 25-21.
The third and final set started off like the second, with each team taking off on three or four-point runs. Regardless of their efforts and staying close to the Tribe, the Spartans were not able to take the lead after tying the game up 4-4. Seekford ended this set as well, this time off a service ace, 25-19.
The Tribe dominated in serving, with seven aces to the Spartans’ two, three of which coming from Seekford. Dedrick’s 16 kills more than doubled the highest scoring player on the opposing team, hitter Anna Rupertova with a mere seven points. Cummings, Dedrick and Bertz each contributed two blocks for the College.
The College will be hosting the 2nd Colonial Classic this weekend, Sept. 14-15, also at Kaplan Arena, before going into conference play. The Tribe with go head-to-head with its first Colonial Athletic Association foe, North Carolina-Wilmington on Sept. 21 at 7 P.M. in Wilmington, North Carolina.