WATERVILLE, Maine --- The Colby College volleyball team, despite falling 3-1 to Trinity College on Saturday, is headed back to the New England Small College Athletic Conference playoffs for a second straight year.
The Mules got off to a fine start with a 25-22 win in the first set, but Trinity fought back and took the next three sets at 25-21, 25-13, 25-20.
The Mules (12-12 overall, 2-8 NESCAC) made the league playoffs as the eighth seed and will play Friday at 5 p.m. at top-seeded Connecticut College, which will host the three-day tournament. Trinity, which moved to 12-10 overall and 5-5 in the NESCAC, earned the seventh seed in the tourney and will play second-seeded Middlebury College this Friday at 5 p.m.
Colby clinched the spot in the tourney after Bates College was defeated by Amherst College.
Danielle Isaman (Warrenton, Va.) was one of three Trinity College players with 14 kills or more and she added a match-high 16 defensive digs to lead the Bantams.
Kim Donaldson (Colorado Springs, Colo.) led the Mules in kills with 12 and also in blocks with three. Emily Varni (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) was the Mules' leader in aces (4) and digs (15), Kate Pleasants (Virginia Beach, Va.) had 26 assists and seven digs, and Maggie Taylor (Washington, D.C.) finished with eight kills and 14 digs.
Hannah Brickley (Melrose, Mass.) had a match-high 16 kills, nine digs, and two blocks for the Bantams. Kate Giddens (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.) added 15 kills and a pair of blocks, Amy Hackett (Wallingford, Conn.) had 27 assists and seven digs, and Gina Buzzelli (Cheshire, Conn.) contributed 19 assists and 10 digs.
After holding on to win the first set, Colby held a 20-19 lead at one point and was tied 21-21 in the second set. However, the Bantams won the final four points to take momentum of the match. Trinity broke away from an 8-8 tie in the third set to take a 20-9 lead at one point.
2012 VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
Friday, November 2 at Connecticut College
#8 Colby at #1 Connecticut College – 5:00 p.m.
#7 Trinity vs. #2 Middlebury – 5:00 p.m.
#6 Tufts vs. #3 Bowdoin – 8:00 p.m.
#5 Williams vs. #4 Amherst – 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 3 at Connecticut College
Center Court: Winner of #1 | #8 vs. Winner of #4 | #5 – 1:00 p.m.
Center Court: Winner of #2 | #7 vs. Winner of #3 | #6 – 3:30 p.m.
Sunday, November 4 at Connecticut College
Championship – 12:00 p.m.