VOLLEYBALL: Volleyball improves game
Maybe it was being back in Wadsworth gym after three away games, maybe it was the team's desire to avenge a loss from last year, but whatever it was, Wednesday, September 23, the Mules found that thing that they have been looking for, and knew they had, in their 3-1 victory over the University of New England. The set score was 25-22, 25-14, 17-15, 15-22 over the team that beat Colby 3-0 last year.
Caitlin Burchill '12 made 12 kills, 24 defensive digs, and three aces. Heather Arvidson '11 and Megan Conroy '10 both had 11 kills; Arvidson also had three blocks and a pair of aces, and Conroy had 11 digs and three aces. Emily Ten Eyck '13 had 32 assists and eight digs, Emily Varni '13 contributed 13 digs and four aces, Anne Sewall '12 made seven kills and three blocks, and Clair Reich '11 added an impressive 12 digs in only three games. "Great team effort!" Head Coach Candice Parent said.
Coming off the win, the Mules headed to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Invitational for the weekend; however, the outcome was not in Colby's favor. On Friday, September 25, Colby lost to Vassar College 3-1 (25-12, 25-18, 13-25, 25-14), and to Springfield College 3-0 (25-12, 25-7, 25-8). On Saturday, September 26, Colby was again unsuccessful, falling to Wellesley College 3-2, and Vassar 3-0. "The MIT tournament is always a challenging tournament, and we take it as an opportunity to improve as a team," Conroy said.
The MIT Invitational is one of the most, if not the most, competitive tournament in New England. It is a 16 team tournament and is bracketed with seeded pools that are based on the New England rankings.
Vassar was ranked fourth in the New York Region, and has two very strong first-years, one a strong outside hitter, and the other a setter. "I thought they played extremely good defense, and that frustrated us," Parent said. Springfield was ranked second in New England and was fired up, because they were just upset by Wesleyan University. "Springfield was definitely fired up to play, and we were not," Parent said. The size of the Springfield offense was dumbfounding, and Colby could not scrounge up the nerve to step up.
Despite suffering two discouraging losses the day before, Colby came out with a positive attitude and ready to play on Saturday. Wellesley College was ranked 10 in New England, and the match could have gone either way. With a score of 12-12 in the fifth and final set, Colby dropped the ball, and could not battle out the last few points. "I was really proud at how hard and smart we played," Parent said. "I asked them to do a few different things, such as triple block in the middle, and we were really able to capitalize." Parent was also happy with the adjustments made on the opposing hitters. The key to the success in the game was the defensive strength of Colby. "We played great defense against some great offensive teams," Conroy said. In the last match of the weekend, Colby could not pull itself together, and was dominated by Vassar. "I think the emotional loss to Wellesley was tough to rebound from, and I think we are not as deep as I would like, so we looked and played tired," Parent said.
"Now, we just need to work on getting all the different parts of our game together," Conroy said about the home game against Bates on Wednesday, September 30, at 7 p.m. "Bates is a lot better this year than in past years, but we want to keep a winning record against them." Conroy said that the team is hoping for a large turn out and is confident that the team will peak when the pressure is on. Next weekend, Colby will compete in important New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) play, where the team will play Wesleyan University and Connecticut College.