American 3, William and Mary 0
After steamrolling its way past Campbell and Hampton yesterday in the first stages of the Colonial Challenge tournament, a seemingly timid Tribe (3-3) squad was routed by American at Kaplan Arena on Saturday, 3-0.
“American played great tonight,” Head Coach Melissa Shelton ’91 said, “[American] went out and went for it and we didn’t.”
Despite the loss, the tournament runner-up College squad saw two players headline the All-Tournament Team – junior outside hitter Lindsay Kresch, who recorded a team-high 9 kills on the night, and senior middle blocker Ginny Bray, who averaged 2.57 kills per set and hit an unprecedented .472 over the three home matches.
“Ginny [Bray] is our rock; she is one of the most competitive players on our team, so I’m happy for her and she deserved it. She played great this weekend.” Shelton said.
Kresch noted that she would have preferred a tournament championship instead of her All-Tournament honors.
“Its always good to get accolades, but I really wish as a team we performed better,” Kresch said following the loss.
Throughout the night, the Tribe experienced few bright spots. In the first set, the Tribe never found a rhythm, or a lead, for that matter. The College came out stale, quickly facing a 4-1 deficit, but fought back to tie the opening set 7-7. Unable to build on their newfound momentum, the Tribe subsequently dropped the set 25-19.
The College continued to falter in an error-ridden second set, accruing four straight attacking errors early to give the Eagles a 7-2 advantage. The Tribe quickly erased the deficit in a similar manner to their first set comeback, clawing back to tie the set at 8-8. But almost on cue, the College’s fire was doused and the Eagles snatched the second set 25-20.
In the final set, the College saw no reverse in fortune, despite grasping an 8-5 lead behind service from sophomore middle blocker Shaylin O’Connell, who tallied 4 blocks on the night. But the Tribe failed to keep the pressure up, falling victim to an 11-3 American run, spelling fatal in the 25-19 set loss, handing the match, and the tournament championship to the Eagles.
“We need to be more aggressive and have more intensity,” Kresch said. “We were not playing to win, we were playing not to lose.”
The College will have a week before they return to the court for the Charlotte 49er Invitational in Charlotte, N.C. –- a week where many details of its play will be examined.
“It frustrating; we have a lot to fix before we play again,” Shelton said.