Volleyball steals a set from NESCAC foe No. 19 Wesleyan

Deirdre Corrigan ’23 (Josh McKee photo)
Deirdre Corrigan ’23 (Josh McKee photo)

After dropping the first set, the nationally ranked No. 19 Wesleyan University Cardinals rallied for a four-set win against the Hamilton College Continentals at Wesleyan's Silloway Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon.

Hamilton (10-11, 3-5 NESCAC) won the first set 26-24 before dropping the next three by scores of 25-20, 25-18 and 25-22.

Wesleyan improved to 19-2 overall and concluded its regular season NESCAC schedule with a 9-1 record.

Giuliana Rankin '20 led the Hamilton attack with 20 kills and Deirdre Corrigan '23 had 15 while also helping out the defense with 17 digs for her third straight double-double and seventh of the season. Emma Parkhurst '21 recorded her fourth double-double of the season with 37 assists and 12 digs and added four service aces. Nikki Matsuoka '21 picked up a season-high 31 digs and Kendall Boxe '22 had four blocks at the net.

Maddie Kurke guided the Cardinals with a team-high 13 kills and Mia Hogan had 11. Kaira Muraoka-Robertson registered a double-double with 30 assists and 11 digs, while Phia Bellizzi led the defense with 31 digs. Nicole Hilton totaled six blocks and Gabby Bennett recorded five.

Trailing 11-7 in the first set, Hamilton went on a 10-2 run to pull ahead. The Cardinals answered with a 7-2 run and took a 20-19 lead. After some back-and-forth action, consecutive errors by the Continentals put Wesleyan ahead 24-23. However, Hamilton scored three straight points and took a 1-0 lead in the match.

The Cardinals went on a 6-0 run early in the second set and grabbed an 11-7 advantage. They led the rest of the way despite strong play by the Continentals to keep the score close. A kill by Hilton evened the match at one set apiece.

Hamilton never led in the third and a 4-0 stretch by the home team gave the Cardinals some cushion late in the set as they led 20-14. Wesleyan closed out the set with three straight points and pulled ahead in the match, 2-1.

The Continentals came out strong in the fourth and jumped out to a 5-1 lead before Wesleyan answered with a 7-1 run. Tied at 11-11, the Cardinals went on another run with four unanswered points that put them ahead for good. Hamilton got within two points down the stretch following a kill by Corrigan, but Wesleyan's Bennett answered with a match-winning kill.

Hamilton returns home for two NESCAC matches next weekend. The Continentals start the weekend by hosting Amherst College on Friday, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. inside Margaret Bundy Scott Field House.