Despite a virtuoso performance from graduate student Julia Brown that included 21 kills and eight blocks, Akron (4-2) bested William and Mary (2-2) Saturday, Sept. 4 in Charlottesville, Va. in a five-set match to knock the College back down to a tied record on the year.
The Zips started out hot, opening up a 9-4 lead in the first set, and kept the momentum, capturing the set 25-11 and holding the Tribe to a .000 hitting percentage to boot.
Things looked grim for the Tribe after the Zips opened up a 7-3 lead in the second set, but the Tribe fought it back to 15-12. The teams traded points for the next several exchanges and one of Brown’s many kills tied it back up for the Tribe 21-21. The second set remained deadlocked until 24-24 when sophomore middle blocker Sabrina Malcolm nailed a kill and senior outside hitter Anne Louise Seekford recorded an ace to level the scoreline at 1-1.
The Tribe kept the momentum going to begin the third set, scoring the first three points thanks to a kill and block from Brown along with an ace from redshirt sophomore outside hitter Sydney Taylor. The Zips were on their heels for most of the period, falling back 18-13 and prey to another kill by Brown to make it 2-1 Tribe.
The fourth set was tight all the way through, with the Zips gaining a 22-18 advantage after being down 11-7. The Tribe scored four straight to tie it back up, but the Zips went 4-2 over the next six points to force the pivotal fifth set.
The final set was also neck-and-neck, showing 10-10 on the scoreboard. But it was the Zips who pulled it out, scoring five of the next seven points to take a 15-12 win in the set and 3-2 win overall.
Brown led the Tribe with 21 kills. Malcom and Seekford contributed eight and six, respectively. Brown also paced the College with eight blocks, and senior outside hitter Lauren Merrill added four. Senior setter Amy Schwem recorded 28 assists, and junior libero Anna Porter notched 14 digs. Seekford also recorded 12 digs.
The College returns to action next Friday, Sept. 10, at home against Hampton as it attempts to get back over .500 for the year. The Pirates are 1-3 in their 2021-22 campaign thus far.