CLINTON, N.Y. - The Connecticut College volleyball team fell to Hamilton by a 3-1 score in the NESCAC opener for both schools on Friday evening at the Margaret Bundy Scott Field House. Set scores were 25-23, 16-25, 23-25 and 16-25.
Despite surrendering the first four points, Connecticut College (6-1, NESCAC 0-1) rattled off six unanswered en route to winning the opening set. Senior Sam Hunter (Pacific Palisades, Calif.) smashed four kills during the hot stretch to get the Camels going before the margin grew to as many as five when senior Belinda Mullally (Garden Grove, Calif.) and freshman Emma Hewlin (San Jose, Calif.) teamed up for a block to make it 17-12. Hamilton regained the lead twice and clinged to a 19-18 advantage on a Camel service error, but the visitors came back with junior Jenny Kellogg (Los Altos, Calif.) sparking the offense. Two attacking errors by Giuliana Rankin broke a 23-23 tie and allowed the Camels to take the opening set.
Connecticut College led for most of the second set and were ahead by an 8-5 score when senior Katia Elisman (Lake Forest, Ill.) set up Hewlin for a kill. Hamilton, however, recovered and went ahead by a 16-13 score on a Kendall Searcy ace and never looked back. The Continentals ended the set on a 7-0 run, which was capped by a Margaret O'Brien kill, to take it by a score of 25-16.
Hamilton burst out to a 12-7 lead in the third set. The visitors then regained an advantage with a 6-0 run to set up a tight finish in which neither side led by more than two points. Connecticut College had the upper hand when an attacking error by Rankin made it 23-22, but a Camel service error on the following play swung the momentum the other way and led to a set-ending kill by Courtney Brown.
The fourth set was another nip-and-tuck battle and saw the teams deadlocked at 9-all. The Continentals, however, went ahead for good by scoring five unanswered. Emma Parkhurst and Rankin blocked a swing by freshman Katie Howley (Marshfield, Mass.) on match point to give the hosts the victory.
Hunter and Hewlin paced the Connecticut College offense by registering 18 and 15 kills, respectively. Both players added three blocks, while Hunter also finished with seven digs. Elisman contributed 34 assists and nine digs, and freshman Elle Kass (Los Gatos, Calif.) added a team-leading 16 digs.
Hamilton (3-1, NESCAC 1-0) was paced by Dorothy Poucher's 13-kill performance. She also hit a blistering .550 by committing only two errors on 20 attacks. Parkhurst contributed 45 assists, and Christine Zizzi finished with a game-high 29 digs.
Connecticut College continues NESCAC play when it visits Williams tomorrow afternoon at 2:00 p.m.