Volleyball ends season with tough loss

The Colby women’s volleyball team played their final match of the season in a quarterfinal match against defending NESCAC champions Williams on Friday night. Unfortunately, the Mules were unable to overcome the tough opposition,  allowing Williams (18-10 overall) to advance to the championship where they would ultimately lose to champions Bowdoin. Despite losing 3-1, Colby put up a good fight, and finished off their season with a 14-12 record (2-8 in the NESCAC).

Colby capitalized early in the game by winning the first set, beginning with a 9-4 lead. Colby’s strong defensive plays eventually led to a 19-10 margin. The Ephs cut the gap late in the set to 24-18 before the Mules finished it off, winning 25-18.

After gaining a 6-0 lead from Kim Donaldson’s ’16 opening kill and Paige Hanssen’s ’19 five consecutive serve points in the second set, the Ephs fought back to win the next three sets 25-17, 25-18 and 25-16 respectively, securing their playoff advancement.

Both teams demonstrated competitive play in the third set, with Williams finishing with 17 kills and Colby finishing with 12. The Mules held a short lead at 11-10, and later managed to tie the set at 15 apiece, but the Ephs took the next 10 out of 13 points to seal the win.

Williams dominated the last set after gaining a 4-0 lead. Colby tied the set 7-7, before the Ephs pulled away. Despite ending the season on a hard loss, Williams coach Christi Kelsey was quoted on Williams’ athletics website saying that she “has to give Colby a ton of credit because they came out fired up and ready to go for the first set and a half.”

Donaldson, who was featured earlier in the season as a NESCAC Player of the Week, had 11 kills and eight blocks in her final match, making her career total 881 kills and 310 blocks. Natalie Roy ’16 finished her career out with 1,307 digs, 11 coming from this match. Sarah Arvidson ’16 also rounded out her final match with the Mules with 11 digs and six kills. Other stars of the match included Karolina Serhan ’17 with six kills, Molly Manuel ’19 with 13 assists and eight digs, and Alexa Busser ’17 with four blocks.

This year, Colby had their best regular season record since 2005, and competed in the playoffs for the first time since 2012. Sophomore Emily Moslener ’18, who had 16 assists in the quarterfinal match, says: “I know we set some pretty high expectations for ourselves and overall we were happy with how the season went. There was a point in the middle of the season where we weren’t exactly seeing the results we wanted but I think we were able to snap out of that slump rather quickly and start playing to our full potential again.”

With many young players on the team, Moslener included, there is a lot of room for future growth. “It’s sad that the season is over,” she adds, “but I am proud of how we played as a team.”

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