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Volleyball Downs Trinity for First NESCAC Win

Maddie Rust

NEW LONDON, Conn. – Senior Sam Hunter (Pacific Palisades, Calif.) and sophomore Grace McGee (Portland, Ore.) each registered double-doubles as the Connecticut College volleyball team rallied to earn a 3-1 victory over Trinity on Saturday afternoon at the Luce Field House. Set scores were 18-25, 25-19, 25-21 and 25-17.

The teams traded points in the first set before Trinity rattled off five straight to burst loose. Claudia Varner and Colette Scheffers teamed up for a block to break a 3-3 tie and give the Bantams the lead for the remainder of the set. The Camels came within a point on a service ace by McGee which made it 14-13, but the visitors scored the next four points to pull away and prompt a Connecticut College timeout. Scheffers finished a pass from Rebecca Chu to close out the frame.

In the second set, the teams exchanged the lead twice and were deadlocked on six other occasions before the Camels eventually came through to even the overall score. After seeing their 4-1 advantage get washed away on a Varner service ace, Connecticut College came back and regained the lead at 13-12 on a kill by Hunter which was set up by freshman Elle Kass (Los Gatos, Calif.). McGee followed with two aces to prompt a Trinity timeout and would later set up Hunter for a kill to break a 19-19 tie. The Camels would not surrender a point the rest of the way and would take the set by a six-point margin.

Connecticut College (9-5, NESCAC 1-4) found itself trailing for most of the third set before a 7-0 run would provide the spark it needed to seize the momentum. With the hosts trailing by a 16-13 score, McGee found junior Maddie Rust (Austin, Texas) for a pair of kills and also provided back-to-back aces during the stretch to push the Camels ahead for good before clinching the four-point win on a Bantam service error.

The hosts only found themselves trailing once throughout the fourth and final frame. After a service ace by Chu gave the Bantams an 8-7 edge, the Camels came out of a timeout stronger with McGee and Rust connecting multiple times to help push the team ahead. Freshman Emma Hewlin (San Jose, Calif.) and McGee blocked an attack by Rachel Underwood to give their team its largest lead at 20-12 and more than enough insurance to earn the program's first conference win of the season.

Hunter recorded her seventh double-double of the season, including her fifth straight, by providing 13 kills and 15 digs to lead the way for Connecticut College. McGee notched her third double-double of the fall with 37 assists and 11 digs while also adding seven service aces. Junior Jenny Kellogg (Los Altos, Calif.) and Hewlin each finished with a game-high three blocks, and Rust contributed 11 kills to go along with two blocks.

Trinity (6-6, NESCAC 0-4) was paced by Chu's 34-assist, 15-dig effort in the setback. Scheffers also posted a double-double by ending the game with 11 kills and 11 digs.

Connecticut College returns to action when it visits Middlebury on Friday, Oct. 6 at 8:00 p.m.