Saturday, Sept. 7, William and Mary lost 3-1 in a back and forth match against Xavier. The College (2-3) put up a fight in its first ever meeting with the Musketeers (3-1) but ultimately couldn’t secure the victory.
The first set served as a rude awakening for the Tribe, as it was handily beaten 25-10. The Musketeers’ strong attack produced a .444 hitting percentage, while the College was only able to get 8 kills out of 38 attempts, a statistic made worse by 8 errors. This poor combination resulted in a .000 hitting percentage for the Tribe and contributed to the loss.
The rough start didn’t deter the College though, as it rallied to win the second set 25-21, reducing the errors and notching 14 kills on their way to a season high .414 hitting percentage. The Musketeers were outperformed this set and saw its hitting percentage drop to .233. Freshman middle blocker Kaitlyn Ferguson led the Tribe with 4 kills, dominating the offense.
The third set was a nail biter, resulting in the Musketeers barely winning 26-24. The College fought its way back after being down 24-20, rallying to tie the game at 24, but the Musketeers regained control and finished off the set, propelled by a .281 hitting percentage. The Tribe attempted 40 hits and increased its number of kills to 16, but its downfall was the 10 errors committed throughout the set.
Once again, the College let its errors dictate its performance in the fourth and final set, losing 25-11. The Tribe had a .107 hitting percentage, its second lowest of the match, and was unable to deter the Xavier offense that came alive again in the fourth set to the tune of 13 kills.
At the end of the day, the College was defeated by their own inconsistency, committing double the amount of errors made by the Musketeers.
“We started and finished the match like we were underdogs; we need a more aggressive approach into the game,” head coach Tim Doyle said. “We played really well in a few stretches but weren’t consistent enough to earn a win.”
Junior middle blocker Julia Brown and sophomore outside hitter Lauren Merrill both led the Tribe with 11 kills each, and after switching to a two-setter formation for the first time this season, both junior setter Autumn Brenner and freshman setter Kate Van Houten notched double-digit assists, with 21 and 15 respectively.
The College will host North Carolina-Greensboro this Friday, Sept. 13th in Kaplan Arena as part of the Colonial Classic tournament that also includes Georgetown and Iona.