Volleyball rallies from a set down to defeat Conn. College

Dorothy Poucher '21 (Josh McKee photo)
Dorothy Poucher '21 (Josh McKee photo)

Hamilton College served up a season-high 18 aces and the Continentals defeated the Connecticut College Camels in four sets in a NESCAC match at Conn. College's Luce Field House on Friday night.

The last time Hamilton (10-10, 3-4 NESCAC) boasted as many as 18 aces in a match was Sept. 26, 2015, when the Continentals edged Colby-Sawyer College in five sets. Hamilton is third in the conference with 2.03 aces per set.

The Continentals dropped the first set to the Camels, 24-26, but won the next three by scores of 25-16, 25-22 and 25-16. Hamilton travels to nationally ranked No. 19 Wesleyan University (18-2, 8-1) for another NESCAC match on Saturday, Oct. 26 at 2 p.m.

Dorothy Poucher '21 recorded a season-high 16 points on nine kills, a career-best six aces and two blocks for the Continentals. Giuliana Rankin '20 smashed 18 kills and posted a .361 hitting percentage. Rankin leads the conference with 3.57 kills per set and is second with 239 this fall.

Deirdre Corrigan '23 registered her fifth double-double with 13 kills and 10 digs and added three aces for Hamilton. Emma Parkhurst '21 handed out a season-high 43 assists and smacked three aces. Nikki Matsuoka '21 led all players with 22 digs and is third in the NESCAC in both digs per set (5.45) and total digs (365). Kendall Searcy '20 chipped in 11 digs and three aces.

Annie Wibbelsman paced Conn. College (7-13, 0-8) with nine kills and Emma Roberts ripped six aces. Grace McGee and McKaela Simons passed out 18 and 14 assists, respectively. Elle Kass topped the defense with 14 digs, Katie Gunderman had a match-high six blocks and Christina Leduc contributed four blocks. The Camels are 1-7 in October.

The Continentals jumped out to a 5-1 advantage in the first set but Conn. College roared back and took a five-point lead at 18-13. The Camels still held a 21-19 edge when Hamilton scored the next four points thanks to a pair of Poucher aces and a kill by Jane Fanning '22. Conn. College took advantage of three attack errors and a service error by the Continentals and pulled out the opening set.

Neither team led by more than two points early in the second set and Hamilton trailed 10-9 before the Continentals took the lead for good with four straight points on two kills by Rankin and one apiece by Poucher and Parkhurst. The Camels were still within two points at 17-15 but Hamilton closed out the set with an 8-1 run. A kill by Parkhurst clinched the set and tied the match at one apiece.

Conn. College jumped out to a 15-8 advantage in the third set but the Continentals chipped away at the Camels' lead and eventually tied the score at 20-20 on block assists by Poucher and Parkhurst. Conn. College went back in front with two consecutive points before Hamilton closed out the set with five points in a row. The Continentals got kills from Poucher, Rankin and Corrigan and received some help from the Camels in the form of two attack errors.

Hamilton sprinted out to a 9-3 cushion and never trailed in the fourth set. After Conn. College cut its deficit to three points at 10-7, the Continentals took control by running off the next five. Two kills by Rankin and a pair of aces by Matsuoka highlighted the mini-run. The Camels didn't get closer than five points down the stretch, and Rankin clinched the victory with a kill on match point.