WORCESTER, Mass. – The Connecticut College volleyball team swept away a pair of NEWMAC opponents in a tri-match at Clark University on Saturday. The Camels earned 3-0 victories over Wheaton and the host Cougars by most notably winning four of the six sets by a mere two points.
Connecticut College 3, Wheaton 0 (25-23, 25-23, 25-18)
Facing a Lyons squad which was coming off a thrilling conference win over Clark in five sets, the Camels captured the momentum by winning the first frame by two points and then matched the feat in the next one to take control.
Trailing by a 23-22 score in the opening set, senior captain Grace McGee (Portland, Ore.) kept Connecticut College alive by setting up junior Katie Howley (Scituate, Mass.) for a kill and then registering a service ace. An attacking error by Becca Houghton gave the Camels the win.
After a Lyon service error on set point allowed the Camels to escape with another victory, the team built up a 6-2 advantage in the third set on a kill by freshman Annie Wibbelsman (Pacific Palisades, Calif.) which put them in cruise control. The margin grew to as many as nine before a Lyon attacking error on match point gave the Camels a seven-point set win as well as their first sweep.
Freshman Christina LeDuc (Mendon, Mass.) had a breakthrough performance with nine kills, four digs, and a block. Classmate Katie Gunderman (Oakland, Calif.) hit at a .455 clip with five kills, while McGee finished the game with 26 assists and seven digs. Junior Elle Kass (Los Gatos, Calif.) contributed 14 digs and five assists.
Connecticut College 3, Clark 0 (25-19, 28-26, 25-23)
The Camels finished the afternoon on a high note thanks in large part to Gunderman's hot hitting and Howley's double-double effort against the host Cougars. After winning the first set by six, Connecticut College got clutch play down the stretch from various players to win the next two frames by two points.
Trailing 24-23 in the second set, the Camels got a second life when Ava Spach committed a service error. McGee then recorded a kill to put the team ahead, and Kass played a major role in sealing the win by finding Howley for a kill and registering the final point on a service ace.
The Camels then persevered through a nip-and-tuck third set which featured seven lead changes. Despite falling behind by a 23-22 score, Wibbelsman took over by smashing three straight kills off of passes from McGee to put a stamp on the team's second win of the day.
Howley notched her third double-double of the season by finishing the match with 12 kills and 10 digs. Gunderman registered a .526 hitting percentage by recording 11 kills and committing only one error on 19 swings, and she also added a team-leading three blocks to her stat line. McGee and Kass tallied team highs by racking up 39 assists and 14 digs, respectively.
Connecticut College (6-6) resumes NESCAC play when it travels to Maine next weekend. The Camels will first face Bates on Friday at 7 p.m.