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Volleyball Drops Two Matches to NEWMAC Opponents

Team Huddle

NORTON, Mass. – The Connecticut College volleyball team dropped both of its matches to a pair of NEWMAC opponents on Saturday afternoon at Emerson Gymnasium. The Camels were first set back by Clark, 3-2, before falling in straight sets to host Wheaton.

Clark 3, Connecticut College 2 (23-25, 27-25, 23-25, 25-21, 16-18)

The Camels found themselves locked in a five-set thriller for the third time in a four-game span against Clark (5-7) to begin the day. After dropping the opening set by a mere two points, Connecticut College had its backs against the wall in the second frame and trailing 24-22. However, a service error and a ballhandling error by Margarita Perez-Maza gave the Camels a second chance which they took advantage of. Freshman Eliza Wolcott (San Francisco, Calif.) then registered a kill and teamed up with sophomore Emma Hewlin (Los Gatos, Calif.) for a block to help the team even the score.

The fifth and final set was a seesaw affair which featured eight ties and five lead changes. The Camels, who got a kill from freshman Avery Light (Sudbury, Mass.) when facing match point to stay alive, found themselves ahead by a 16-15 score and in a position to earn the victory. Clark, however, was able to recover by recording the next three points and ending the match with consecutive kills coming from Ana Patricia Mercado and Lily Meadows.

Hewlin led the Camels by matching a career high with 17 kills. She also contributed three blocks and two service aces. Junior Grace McGee (Portland, Ore.) had a double-double with 39 assists and 11 digs, while Wolcott matched the feat for the second straight game by finishing with 11 kills and 12 digs to go along with three blocks.

Wheaton 3, Connecticut College 0 (18-25, 22-25, 22-25)

The Camels faced adversity later in the day by having a quick turnaround following a five-set match against Clark and having to face a red-hot Wheaton squad which was riding a 12-game winning streak and has only lost once all year. Following a tough first set, the Camels were competitive in the following two frames.

Connecticut College appeared to be in control in the second stanza by taking a 10-6 lead on an attacking error by Julie Palomba which prompted a timeout by Wheaton (14-1). The Camels extended their lead to as many as five points at 14-9 while the Lyons continued to struggle with their hitting, but the hosts were able to come back and finish strong. Propelled by three kills and two aces the rest of the way, Wheaton was able to capture the frame by a 25-22 decision.

Trailing 8-2 and later 14-10 in the third set, the visitors came storming back and went on an 8-2 run to jump ahead when sophomore McKaela Simons (Redmond, Wash.) set up classmate Katie Howley (Scituate, Mass.) for back-to-back kills. A Camel service error, however, gave the Lyons the momentum back and they were able to finish the game by getting a kill from Palomba.

McGee posted 21 assists to pace a balanced effort by the Camels in the loss. Senior Maddie Rust (Austin, Texas) had nine kills and sophomore Elle Kass (Los Gatos, Calif.) notched nine digs as well as two service aces.

Connecticut College (4-7) resumes NESCAC play when it visits Amherst on Friday, Sept. 28 at 7 p.m.