Hartford, Conn. – The Trinity College women’s volleyball program battled deep into the fifth set, but ultimately fell in its home-opening contest to Eastern Connecticut State, 3-2. Both teams had multiple match-point opportunities, and it took 20 fifth-set points for the visitors to take home the win and give Trinity its second loss of the season. Junior Ali Odermann (Lenexa, Kansas) earned a game-high 29 digs in the defeat.
Trinity got out in front during its opening set, using a 6-1 start before Eastern Connecticut found its footing. The hosts won the first set by four before dropping the second set, despite nine kills from senior Wyllie Boughton (Andover, Mass.) through the first two frames. Colette Sheffers (Flossmoor, Ill.) pumped in seven kills through the first two sets, keeping pace with her teammate.
Scheffers continued to impress in the third set, helping Trinity stay even with the visitors through the opening 12 points with three more kills. A handful of hitting errors put Eastern back up by five, but back-to back service aces from Ally Conde (Danielson, Conn.) and a crucial kill from freshman Molly Bernstein (Oakland, Calif.) tied the set at 20. After trading points, sophomore Hareena Johnson (Los Angeles, Calif.) served three straight aces, giving the Bantams a 2-1 lead going into the fourth set.
Both teams traded points through the opening porting of the fourth before Eastern capitalized on a handful of attack errors. Down by eight, Trinity continued to fight back through the fourth thanks to great net play from Conde – three kills and a solo block helped pull the Bantams within three, but Eastern Connecticut forced a fifth set behind five kills from Alaetra Long (Lincoln, NE).
Trinity came out early with three straight points before the Warriors evened the score. Kills from Sheffers and Johnson kept the hosts ahead, but Eastern retook the lead on back-to-back kills from sophomore Anna Barry (Andover, Conn). Johnson responded with a kill and a service ace to knot the game at 7, but Barry recorded her 21st kill of the night to earn the lead back. Two attack errors were followed by a Molly Bernstein solo block – the team’s second of the night – to give the Bantams a 10-8 lead. After both teams exchanged points, Eastern took a 15-14 lead on a Alaetra Long kill before Trinity utilized an error to even the score. Johnson tied the game – not once, but twice – as Eastern served game point, but junior Abby Stern (Manchester, Conn.) ended the game with her 12th kill of the night to give the Warriors a 20-18 fifth set final.
Barry played outstanding, earning a game-high 22 kills and a .318 hitting percentage on the evening. Scheffers led the Bantams with 17 hills, while Boughton recorded 12.