Nov. 13, 2009

Courtesy Williams Athletics

MEDFORD, MA - After four intense games, the Williams College Volleyball team (23-8) won the semi-final match of the NCAA Regional Tournament by defeating UMass-Boston 3-1 (25-16, 15-25, 25-21, 25-22). The Ephs have now earned a spot in the championship against the winner of the Wellesley-Tufts match beginning at 7p.m.

Getting off to a great start was critical for the Ephs' overall success. They jumped to an early momentum in game one that resulted in their 25-16 victory. In game two, UMass-Boston proved that they would not go down without a fight. The Beacons answered the Ephs right back, toppling them 25-15 to level the game.

The intensity between the two teams came to an apex in game three, where both teams showed impressive effort. Early on, the Ephs pushed past the Becons with a 14-9 lead. Both teams battled from point to point. At 17-14, head coach Christi Kelsey called a timeout that gave her team just the focus they needed to pull out the 25-20 win. The Ephs' success in game three was very much influenced by junior Nicole Ballon-Landa, who shut down the Beacon's offense on the block. It was Ballon-Landa that sealed the victory in the third set with a kill on a quick slide off of an assist from fellow junior Emily Avis.

Williams continued their success into game four, earning an early lead of 4-1. However, victory would not come to them as quickly as in the other sets. The Beacons stepped up to the challenge in this set, not allowing the Ephs to reach a lead of more than two or three points after a timeout at 4-1. They then tied up the game at 20-20, suggesting that they would force the Ephs into a game five. Unfortunately for UMass, the Ephs were ready to end in game four. Ballon-Landa brought the score to 24-22 with another slide, and a hitting error from UMass ended the match.