Hartford, Conn. - Five players finished with six or more kills to lead the Trinity College Bantams to a 3-1 victory over the Colby College Mules in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) volleyball action at Oosting Gymnasium in Hartford on Friday night. The Bantams, who honored seniors Claudia Varner (Port Washington, N.Y.) and Grace Metry (Grosse Pointe, Mich.) before the game as part of Senior Night, improve to 7-13 overall and pick up their first conference win to move to 1-8 in league play, while Colby falls to 6-15 overall and 0-9 in conference action. Trinity returns to the court tomorrow at 2 p.m. for a NESCAC battle against Bates College in the teams' final regular season match of the fall.
Trinity grinded out a win in set one, 27-25, and won the second set 25-18 before falling in set three, 20-25. The Bantams bounced back though, winning the fourth set 25-18 to pick up the win. The hosts were led by junior co-captain Rachel Underwood (Danville, Calif.) and sophomore Colette Scheffers (Flossmoor, Ill.) who each tallied 12 kills, and sophomore Wyllie Boughton (Andover, Mass.) who had seven kills, three aces and three blocks. Metry had a strong game defensively for the Bantams, leading all players and setting a new season-high with 23 digs, while rookie Jessica Yang (Pacific Palisades, Calif.) finished with a game-high 34 assists. Varner finished with six kills and a .150 hitting percentage as well as a pair of block assists.
Colby was paced by Paige Hanssen (Earlysville, Va.) who had 12 kills, a game-high four aces, 12 digs and four block assists. Emily Moslener (Leonardtown, Md.) and Molly Manuel (Andover, Mass.) both tallied double-digit assists with 13 and 11, respectively, while Elizabeth Middlebrook (Ridgefield, Conn.) chipped in eight kills for the Mules as well.
Trinity came out of the gates firing as they opened up a commanding 18-6 lead in the first set. After a Colby timeout though, the Mules went on a 16-4 run to tie the set at 22-22. The two sides traded points until the Bantams claimed a 26-25 lead on a kill from Underwood. Yang followed that with an ace off the ensuing serve to clinch the first set.
The Bantams once again climbed to an early lead in the second set, going ahead 18-10 on a Colby attack error. Trinity turned the lead into a commanding, 23-14 advantage, before earning the set win on back-to-back Colby errors.
The two teams played an evenly matched third set with the Mules on the right side of a 17-12 lead after a kill by Kacie Wrean (Weston, Mass.). Trinity fought back, cutting the deficit to 21-19 thanks to a kill by Underwood, but the Mules held strong down the stretch to win the set, 25-20 on a kill from Middlebrook.
In the fourth set, Colby went up 13-12 early, but Boughton served up three aces coupled with two Colby attack errors to reverse momentum and put the Bantams ahead 19-14. After a kill by Scheffers, Colby went on a quick, 3-0 run to make it a 20-18 game in Trinity's favor. Despite the small rally, the Bantams finished the set on a 5-0 run. Underwood started things with a kill to make it 21-18 before a Colby attack error gave the Bantams a 22-18 lead and prompted the visitors to burn a timeout. In fitting fashion, Trinity won the game with Varner, a senior co-captain, on the serve. Varner served up her lone ace of the night to make it 23-18 before consecutive errors by Colby sealed the deal.