NEW LONDON, Conn. – In a marathon match that featured 34 ties and 15 lead changes, the Connecticut College volleyball team dropped a heartbreaker to Coast Guard by a 3-2 score in its annual "Green Dot Game" on Friday evening at the Luce Field House. The Bears came from behind twice to win by set scores of 17-25. 25-23, 22-25, 27-25, and 15-13.
The fifth and final set lived up to its billing and saw the teams deadlocked nine times. Connecticut College fell behind early, but the hosts responded and took the lead when freshman Katie Gunderman (Oakland, Calif.) finished a pass from senior captain Grace McGee (Portland, Ore.) to make it 6-5. A setting error by Veronica Hine gave the Camels an 8-7 edge when the teams switched sides, but the team could not capitalize and lost momentum by committing a service error on the next play. The hosts were on the verge of victory after freshman Annie Wibbelsman (Pacific Palisades, Calif.) knocked down a kill to create a 13-11 score, prompting the Bears to take a timeout. However, the visitors responded in a big way by ending the match on a 4-0 run. Amanda Dake capped the win with a kill.
The first set featured five ties until a service error by Dake broke a 9-9 score and began a 5-0 run for the Camels. The Bears came within two on four occasions, but the hosts had an answer each time to stay ahead. A service ace by McGee on set point gave Connecticut College the eight-point win and early control of the contest.
Even though the beginning of set two belonged to the Camels, the tide quickly turned when back-to-back aces by Angelou Dunton gave Coast Guard (15-7) a 10-8 edge and a lead they would never relinquish. The margin grew to as many as nine when Tursky smashed a kill to make it 20-11, prompting a Camel timeout, and the Bears held off a late run by the hosts to win by two on Dake's third kill of the set.
Sets three and four saw the teams change leads five times in both frames. Trailing 20-19 in the third, sophomore Bridget Fatse (Trumbull, Conn.) gave the Camels life be recording a kill before freshman Georgia Quesnelle (Marblehead, Mass.) added two aces over the next three rallies to cap a streak of four unanswered. Junior Katie Howley (Scituate, Mass.) ended the third set with a kill to give the hosts the momentum back, but the Bears regrouped to force a fifth and deciding frame. Tursky added a kill and then set up Bridget Boyle to give the visitors a 27-25 win and additional confidence to take the deciding set as well.
Dake led three Coast Guard players with twin figure kills by providing 15, while Mary Sweet and Dunton had 12 apiece. Dunton also contributed 16 digs to finish with a double-double, and Tursky contributed 30 assists and seven aces.
Fatse notched her first career double-double with 10 kills and 12 digs, which were both career highs, to lead the way for Connecticut College. She also ended her career outing with four blocks, matching a career high, and one service ace. Quesnelle and McGee finished with three aces apiece, and McGee also recorded 33 assists. Gunderman contributed nine kills and six blocks.
Connecticut College (6-12) will stay at home for the remainder of the regular season and next host Mitchell College on Wednesday night at 7 p.m.