NEW LONDON, Conn. – The Connecticut College volleyball team fell to Trinity by a 3-2 decision on Friday evening at the Luce Field House. The Bantams outlasted the Camels by set scores of 23-25, 25-23, 25-19, 20-25, and 15-13.
The deciding fifth set featured 10 ties and five lead changes and neither team led by more than one until Hareena Johnson smashed a kill to make it 7-5 in favor of the Bantams. Even though Trinity gained more momentum by recording the eighth point on a kill by Wylie Boughton, the Camels fought back and answered with a 5-1 run to take a 10-9 advantage on a kill by sophomore Eliza Wolcott (San Francisco, Calif.).
After the visitors took a timeout to regroup, the teams continued to battle back-and-forth over the next several rallies and exchanged leads three more times. But after senior Grace McGee (Portland, Ore.) tied the match at 13s with a kill, Trinity responded with the next two points to clinch the match. Alexandra Kelly and Alexandria Conde teamed up for a block to put the Bantams ahead before Colette Scheffers ended it with a kill.
Connecticut College found itself in a 10-3 hole in the opening set. However, the hosts stormed back by embarking on an 11-3 run and took their first lead on a service ace by junior Elle Kass (Los Gatos, Calif.). Trinity was able to knot the score three more times, but the Camels would never relinquish the lead for the rest of the set.
The second set was just as close as the first and saw the teams battle through seven ties and four lead changes. Connecticut College eventually gained the upper hand and built up a 13-8 lead when junior Katie Howley (Scituate, Mass.) finished a pass from senior Grace McGee (Portland, Ore.). The Camels stayed ahead for most of the set and had a 22-20 edge over the Bantams down the stretch, but after a timeout, the visitors responded with a 5-1 run to close out the set with their blocking game taking center stage. Kelly and Scheffers stuffed two straight attacks by freshman Annie Wibbelsman (Pacific Palisades, Calif.), and the Bantams held on for the win.
Trinity (8-15, NESCAC 1-9) captured momentum moving forward by taking the third set and never trailing during the frame. The Camels tied it up three times in the very early stages, but four straight attacking errors would allow the Bantams to go on a streak of scoring six unanswered. Connecticut College came within two late in the set when Christina Leduc (Mendon, Mass.) recorded a kill that made it 21-19, but that was as close as they could come. Back-to-back Camel attacking errors gave the Bantams the set win.
Despite falling behind by an 8-1 score in the fourth set, the Camels did not give up and eventually took their first lead of the frame at 17-16 when a blocking error was called on Jessica Yang. Howley followed with a kill and also ended the set by finishing a pass from McGee to force a fifth and deciding frame. Unfortunately for the hosts, Trinity hit at a .344 clip in the final set to win the marathon by the minimum two points on a kill by Scheffers.
Scheffers led Trinity with a team-high 19 kills, 21 digs, and six blocks. Conde added 15 kills, while Wyllie Boughton also filled the stat sheet with eight kills, 14 digs, and seven blocks.
McGee, who was recognized for her contributions to the program along with Dayna McCue (Franklin, Mass.) prior to the contest, registered a double-double in her final game as a collegian. She racked up 34 assists and 15 digs to go along with five kills and three aces. Howley also contributed a double-double effort with 14 kills and 17 digs, while Kass added a game-high 25 digs.
Connecticut College (7-16, NESCAC 0-10) graduates two seniors and is slated to return 16 letterwinners next season.