Courtesy Tufts Sports Information
MEDFORD, Mass. - The Williams College Ephs, the #4 seed in the New England Regional, defeated the #5 seed Keene State College Owls, 3-0 (26-24, 25-11, 25-16), in the first round of the 2008 NCAA Women's Volleyball Championship on Thursday afternoon at Cousens Gymnasium on the campus of Tufts University. Williams advances to face the Maine Maritime/Springfield winner on Friday, Nov. 14 at 4:30 p.m.
The first set between the two squads was nip-and-tuck as neither team built a lead larger than three points. There were 14 ties, including 11-11, 12-12, 13-13 and 14-4. The lead changed hands eight times, none more important than the last lead change as Keene State had set point at 24-23, but they allowed Williams to tie it up and win the set, 26-24, with three straight tallies.
The Ephs dominated the rest of the match as the Owls’ only lead the rest of the way was at 1-0 in the second set. The second set was tied for the final time at 2-2, and from there the Ephs used a 6-0 run to jump out to an 8-2 lead. Keene State would get no closer than five points for the remainder of the set. Williams took a commanding two-set lead with the 25-11 second set victory. Williams led the third set from start to finish, as they assumed a ten point lead at 14-4 and cruised to a 25-16 win and the match sweep, 3-0.
Williams was led by an excellent match from sophomore Nicole Ballon-Landa (La Jolla, Calif.) and her match-high 16 kills. Ballon-Landa's classmate Emily Avis (Palo Alto, Calif.) added 36 assists and five digs while junior Melissa Pun (San Francisco, Calif.) was the digs leader with 11. Sophomore Kate Anderson (Berlin, MA) chipped in with 14 kills and one service ace for the Ephs.
First-years Bridget O'Bryant (Merrimack, N.H.) and Kristen Girard (Red Hook, N.Y.) led the Owls with seven kills apiece. Sophomore Brittany O'Bryant (Merrimack, N.H.) also recorded seven kills and added two digs.
Senior Sarah Peterson (Danville, N.H.) was the match-high digs leader with 12 while junior Jordan Pokryfski (Wasilla, Alaska) led Keene State with 26 assists.