Volleyball loses first game of the year in five-set blockbuster
The loss to UMass Boston moves the Blue to 16-1 on the season
Published: Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 12:10
The UMass Boston Beacons beat the Blue 25-19, 23-25, 21-25, 25-23, 15-13 in a nail-biter during Homecoming Weekend. On Friday, Sept. 28, crowds cheered so hard that the gym echoed after every point. But despite the home crowd advantage, it was clear from the start that Wellesley would need to work hard for every point. The Beacons built up to an 11-5 advantage early on in the first set, almost running away with the game. Wellesley managed to slow UMass Boston’s momentum, but poor serving from the Blue meant that the Beacons still took the first set with ease.
At the start of the second set, it seemed like a whole new team was playing. Wellesley rallied, leading 10-3 at one point. As the set wore on, the Beacons ate into the lead but were unable to come back from the original point deficit. Going 1-1 into the third set, both teams were in the hunt.
Set three was a retelling of set two. A Wellesley lead of 9-3 forced the Beacons to play catch up. Wellesley managed to hold the lead for most of the set and closed it out at 25-21. By the end of the third set, both teams had scored exactly 69 points each. The game seemed balanced on the edge of a knife. Wellesley Coach Dorothy Webb described the Beacon’s playing style as “a fast offense with many hitters capable of hitting to all parts of the court.” Still, strong defense from the Blue kept the match relatively even.
Wellesley had a slow start in the fourth set. They were behind 10-3 when Webb called a timeout. In a display of guts and concentration, the Blue scored eight points in a row to change the score to 10-11. This was a team effort, lead by strong serving from Sydney Carfagno ’15. The gym went wild. Unfortunately, Wellesley couldn’t keep the momentum, and the Beacons leveled the match at two sets apiece.
The fifth set went back and forth between the two teams. The noise in the gym went from loud to deafening. In volleyball, only 15 points are needed to win the fifth set so at 13-13, it was anyone’s game. UMass Boston came out on top 15-13.
“This game taught us that we can be mentally tough,” Captain Isabel Custodio ’13 said. “Our goal is to win the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) conference, which will allow us to enter the NCAA tournament. Once there, we want to get as far as possible.”
“We’ve had a great start to our season despite playing an incredibly tough schedule. But playing all of the best teams in New England will help prepare us for the NCAAs in November,” Coach Dorothy Webb said. The Blue beat Emerson and Eastern Nazarene on Saturday to bring their record up to 16-1.
Vivian Hu was a standout player on Friday, with 30 digs to her credit. Custodio led the Blue in kills, notching 18. The most disappointing part of the game was its poor location—players from both teams had to stop chasing a ball because they were about to run into the wall or the stands. A game that was as well played and as close as this one merited a facility that would allow players to chase the ball without fear of running into the wall. After all, the game hinged on just a few points.