William and Mary (2-2) split its opening two games of the Xavier invite Sept. 6, shutting out Akron in the morning session before falling 3-0 to Wright State in the afternoon.
Senior setter Autumn Brenner and junior opposite hitter Kate Dedrick carried the Tribe to the 3-0 victory in the morning, with Brenner recording 26 assists and 10 digs and Dedrick adding five kills. After cruising to a 25-16 win in the first set, the College narrowly captured the second 28-25 thanks to two of Dedrick’s kills in the tiebreaker. The Zips kept it close for the majority of the third set before an ace from Brenner put the Tribe in the driver’s seat for good, completing the sweep with a 25-22 victory in the third.
In addition to Brenner and Dedrick, freshman libero Anna Porter chipped in 12 digs to help close out the tighter sets. Head coach Tim Doyle stressed the importance of staying focused late in sets when each point was critical.
“We were really strong out of the gate on offense,” Doyle said. “We weakened at times throughout the match but pulled through and played tough when sets got close at the end.”
After the morning session, the Tribe returned to battle the Raiders in the afternoon. The teams traded points through the better part of the first set and the College took the lead 16-15 but faltered late and lost 25-20. The Raiders built on their momentum to crush the College 25-15 in the second set despite amped–up defense from the College forcing a .179 hitting percentage.
The defeat was not without select stellar play, with junior middle blocker Julia Brown tying her high mark on the year with five blocks and Brenner dishing out another 24 assists. Dedrick earned a .364 hitting percentage to post her second game with a mark better than .350, and freshman middle blocker Kaitlyn Ferguson recorded seven kills in her first start for the Tribe.
The Tribe will look to regain the form it showed against the Zips in its final match in the Xavier Invite Saturday, when it takes on Xavier at 11 a.m.