Sunday, Sept. 25, William and Mary volleyball (7-5, CAA 2-2) traveled to Elon, N.C. to face the (5-8, CAA 3-1) Elon this weekend. After an 0-3 loss on Saturday, the Tribe hoped to make up some ground the following day.
Elon came out swinging in the first set, going on an 8-3 drive to begin. A pair of kills from sophomore setter Amy Schwem and a pair of attack errors from Elon brought the Tribe back within striking range. However, despite taking the lead 14-13 halfway through the set, the Tribe couldn’t prevent an Elon victory. An unanswered, five-point drive ended the set.
Again, the Tribe started slow in the second set. It was a familiar story: Elon blitzed to an 8-2 lead. Still, the Tribe battled back. They slowly regained their momentum and eventually pulled ahead 13-12. Schwem set up beautiful kills for sophomore outside hitter Eleanor Stothoff and senior opposite Kaitlyn Ferguson.
Stothoff would go on to lead the team with 22 kills and only two errors. Ferguson closely followed with 15 kills under her belt. They were key players in upsetting Elon. Elon had more offensive breadth, but the precision of Stothoff and Ferguson allowed the Tribe to focus more on defense as well.
In the third set, the Tribe refused to let Elon get another early start. Stothoff and Ferguson featured on kills that brought the Tribe up to a 4-1 lead. Elon battled back and soon the set was tied at seven. Again, the pair of Stothoff and Ferguson gave the Tribe a critical two point lead that they did not flub for the rest of the set. The Tribe won its second set with a final score of 25-20.
As the Tribe looked to finish the game in the fourth set, Elon hoped to stay alive. Elon drew first blood. The Tribe fought side by side for a while, but Elon ran away with the lead, gradually, in three-point runs. Despite a late push by Stothoff, the final score for the set ended at 25-17.
Both teams entered the final frame tired after three sets on Saturday and four sets on Sunday. The final set was truly a test of endurance.
Elon struck first. A service error then pushed the offense back to the Tribe. Over the next seven points, Stothoff accounted for five kills.
After the impressive drive by Stothoff, Elon was unable to rally. They scored the occasional point, but never gained the upper hand. Stothoff fittingly finished the game with a kill, making her hitting percentage .392 for the match.
The neck-and-neck ambiance of the game led to an offensive focus, but it would be an oversight to neglect senior libero Anna Porter’s contributions. With 24 digs, she was critical in leading the Tribe defense. Her saves made the flashy kills possible.
The Tribe takes on Colonial Athletic Association rival Stony Brook next Saturday, Oct. 1 at 1 p.m. They will play in Kaplan Arena at home, hoping to improve to a winning record in conference play.