In what has turned out to be a subpar season for William and Mary (10-13, 4-7 CAA), the Tribe predictably split its weekend road trip with a 3-0 win against Hofstra Friday, followed by a 3-1 loss versus Northeastern Saturday.
“Against Hofstra, we played alright,” head Coach Melissa Shelton ’91 said. It’s nice to get a three game win since we haven’t gotten many this year.”
The College opened the weekend by racing out to a 12-6 advantage with a plethora of kills in the first set against the Pride. The lead soon vanished, as Hofstra tied the set at 16-16. A block from junior middle hitter Anne Dorff, who finished with a match-high six blocks paired with three kills, began an 8-2 Tribe run, and the squad closed out the set 25-18.
The Tribe continued to dominate, stretching its lead in the match to 2-0 with a second set win, 25-16.
The squad faced greater resistance in the third set, looking at an early 15-11 deficit. But the College persevered, stringing together a 12-3 run, which eventually saw it hold match-point at 24-21.
A pair of Pride kills and a ball-handling error tied the set at 24-24, pushing the period into extra points, before the Tribe was able to turn the momentum around and snag the final two points. A kill from senior hitter Erin Skipper, who led the Tribe with 14 kills on .407 attacking percentage, won the set 26-24, and the match 3-0.
Saturday, the injury-stricken College was unable to continue its success in Boston.
“Our lineup had some holes that [Northeastern] was able to exploit,” Shelton said.
The College began slowly, dropping the first set 25-13.
But then a revamped Tribe emerged in the second set, and with the help of four service aces from junior hitter Lindsay Kresch, tied the match at 1-1 with a 25-11 set win.
“I think we put together our best game all year in the second set at Northeastern,” Shelton said.
The College dropped each of the next two sets 25-20 and 25-21 to hand the match to the Huskies.
Despite the loss, the Tribe received strong efforts from its senior class. Senior setter Cassie Crumal notched a double-double with 35 assists on top of 11 digs. The College’s attack was led by fellow senior Skipper, who added to her impressive weekend output with 18 kills on a .457 attacking percentage.
These seniors’ efforts are merely a sliver of light in what has been a rough final season.
“It’s turned out to be a disappointing season,” Shelton said. “We have three games left so we’re just going to keep on chugging along.”