With Monica Leslie '14 (#7, left side photo) collecting seven blocks and Laura Volgenau '13 (#11, right side photo) coming through with six blocks, the Cardinals posted a pair of close set victories to begin their match vs. Bates Sat., Oct. 13, then made short work of the Bobcats in the third set to take a 3-0 NESCAC decision. With only Hamilton remaining on the NESCAC schedule, the Cardinals still have a chance of qualifying for the NESCAC tournament despite their 1-8 conference mark. A win over Hamilton Sat., Oct. 27, combined with a win by Bates over either Trinity or Amherst the same weekend would give the Cardinals the eighth seed as long as Colby goes 0-2 vs. Amherst and Trinity. The next action for the squad came up Tues., Oct. 16 when the Cardinals visited Rhode Island College. There, Wesleyan recovered from an opening-set loss to take a 3-1 win.
In winning the opening set vs. Bates, 25-21, the Cardinals broke a 10-10 tie with a 6-1 run for their largest lead of the set, 16-11. Wesleyan never trailed from that point en route to the four-point victory. Set number two was tight to the finish as no more than three points separated the squads on their way to a 20-20 tie. Wesleyan used a 4-1 burst, started by a Volgenau kill, to hold a 24-21 edge before closing out the 25-23 win on a kill by Leslie. Leslie finished the match with a team-leading nine kills while Volgenau added six. Kim Farris '14 and Kate Centofanti '14 each added seven kills for the Cardinals.
In the final set, won by Wesleyan, 25-6, the Cardinals hit at a .423 clip while jumping out to an 8-1 lead and never looking back as the margin grew to 16-4. Wesleyan rattled off the final seven points for its most convincing set victory of the season.
Gathering 29 assists on the day was Brenna Tharnstrom '16 (#5, photo insert lower middle). In the digs department, Sofia Davila '16 led the way with 12.
At RIC, Tharnstrom generated a fabulous 44 assists as she fed Farris for 16 kills and Leslie for 15 kills. Leslie had a phenominal .700 hitting percentage with just one error in 20 attempts. As a team, the Cardinals hit .404 over the final three sets with wins of 25-21, 25-13 and 25-17. Wesleyan had fallen in the first set, 25-14. Wesleyan got its rally going in the second set, breaking away from a 20-20 tie to win with a 5-1 spurt. On defense, Davila again led the way with 17 digs. Brittany Curran '16 made a substantial contribution in her most regular duty of the year, racking up six kills, 12 digs, an ace and a block while playing in three of the four sets.
Wesleyan has a three-match home weekend ahead, facing Southern Vermont Fri., Oct. 19 at 7:30 pm to start things off. The match will be webcast and can be viewed by clicking < here >. Then on Sat., Oct. 20, the Cardinals take on Western New England and WPI.