NEW LONDON, Conn. --- The eighth-seeded Colby College volleyball team got off the bus and surprised top-seeded Connecticut College by taking the first set of the match, but the Camels recovered to take the next three sets in a 3-1 quarterfinal victory at the New England Smalll College Athletic Conference Championships on Friday.
Colby ends the season at 13-13 overall, while Connecticut College moved to 23-2 overall and will play a semifinal match Saturday. The Camels took a 23-25, 25-19, 25-12, 25-15 victory.
Colby senior co-captain Maggie Taylor went over 1,000 career defensive digs during the match. She finished her career with 1,006 digs, 514 kills, 109 service aces, and 83 blocks. Emily Varni, the Mules' other senior co-captain, had 1,095 career digs and 164 aces. Taylor led the way against Conn College with a match-high 22 digs and Varni finished with 18 digs.
Colby first-year Natalie Roy finished a fine season with 11 digs and four kills to close out with a team-best 244 kills this year. Lily Kramlich-Taylor also had four kills and four blocks, while Kate Bellerose had four blocks and a pair of kills. Kate Pleasants had 13 assists and heads into her senior year with 1,842 for her career.
Rachel Schroff and Caroline Martin both had 20 kills to lead the Camels. Schroff also had a .543 attack percentage, 12 digs, and four aces. Martin also had a fine attack percentage at .514 and contributed 11 digs and five aces. Katie Ketcham was rewarded for all the Camels' kills with 51 assists.
With a big crowd in attendance, the Mules kept the noise to a minimum after taking the 25-23 win in the fIrst set. The Camels had given up just one set in the last eight matches and only 13 all season in 24 matches before Friday.
The Mules were off to a fine start in the second set, taking a 6-4 lead before the Camels ran off four straight points to go ahead for good. The Mules only trailed 10-9 after Kim Prescott flicked a shot over the blockers for a point. The Camels slowly started taking control with leads of 16-11 and and 21-15 before winning 25-19.
The third set also was close in the beginning, with Colby trailing only 9-8 at one point. Connecticut College, leading 12-9, scored five straight points to take a commanding 17-9 margin on the way to the win.
The Camels took control early in the fourth set and led 17-5 at one point. The Mules refused to go down easy and used a 9-2 scoring run to cut the Conn College margin to 19-14. The Camels went on a 5-0 run after that and closed out a 25-15 win.