Volleyball: College drops eighth straight match

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The College lost a close first set en route to its eighth-straight loss. COURTESY IMAGE / Tribe Athletics.

William and Mary wrapped up its two-match homestand Sunday afternoon against Northeastern. The Tribe entered the match in the midst of a seven-match losing streak. Meanwhile, the Huskies had won their past two matches, regaining a winning record in Colonial Athletic Association play. The Huskies and the Tribe had already played once this season, with the College claiming the first set before dropping the following three sets. Sunday, the Tribe (5-16, 1-11 CAA) appeared poised to once again take a 1-0 lead over the Huskies (14-11, 7-5 CAA), but the Huskies came back to win the first set and ultimately earned a straight-set victory.

The Tribe jumped out to a commanding lead with a six-point run to open the match. Freshman outside hitter Claire Farrell recorded kills on the last two points of the run to give the College a 6-0 advantage. Later in the set, the Tribe still held a six-point lead, 14-8. However, the Huskies reeled off five points in a row to close their deficit to one point, prompting head coach Tim Doyle to call a timeout. The College regrouped momentarily and moved within seven points of winning the set on a kill by sophomore opposite hitter Kate Dedrick, bringing the score to 18-15. The Huskies went on another scoring run, this time propelling them to the lead for the first time in the opening set, 19-18. The College managed to regain the lead, 25-24, and had a set point after another Farrell kill. Nevertheless, the Huskies fought off the set point, then won another two points to win the competitive opening set, 27-25. Senior setter Katie Kemp committed an attack error on the Huskies’ third set point, handing them the first set.

After trailing early in the second set, the College worked its way back into the set, tying the score at 12 on a kill by Farrell. The Huskies won eight of the next 10 points, taking control of the set. They ended up cruising to a 25-18 win in the second set to move within one game of winning the match. In the third set, after not leading at all in the second set, the College had early leads of 1-0 and 2-1 before the Huskies managed a comfortable lead. The Huskies led by as many as eight points in the third set, but back-to-back service aces by freshman outside hitter Lauren Merrill pulled the Tribe within three points, 22-19, late in the third set. The College was unable to inch any closer and the Huskies closed out the straight-set victory with a 25-20 win in the third set.

The Tribe was led in the loss by another strong offensive performance from Farrell. She had 12 kills along with eight digs. Sophomore libero Lauren Moussaid had a team-high nine digs and Kemp added 33 assists. For the visitors, junior middle blocker Natalie Shollin had 12 kills and three digs, while senior Gabrielle Eyl chipped in 11 digs.

Next week, the College will play two more matches, both of which are on the road. Friday, the Tribe will travel to CAA-leading James Madison, before concluding the weekend with a Sunday match at Towson. The Tribe will look to pull off an upset to secure its second CAA victory of the season.