Britney Dixon Herald Contributor
On Saturday afternoon, the Roger Williams University women’s volleyball team defeated Eastern Connecticut State University’s Warriors in a 3-1 battle at this season’s Think Pink game.
The first set was steadily even until the Hawks broke away to extend their lead over the Warriors to 9-5, forcing ECSU to utilize their first timeout. The break was ineffective until the Hawks allowed a service error to make the score 16-7. The Warriors could not catch up to the Hawks and suffered a 25-15 loss in the first set.
However, the Warriors came into the second set ready to retaliate. They took a big lead from the beginning of the set to extend their lead over the Hawks to 20-7. Roger Williams quickly shortened the gap but still fell to a 25-14 defeat to even the scoreboard.
ECSU scored all of their points by standing up against the net. The Hawks were not able to work this attempt.
In the third set, the Hawks did not let the Warriors’ negative energy impact their playing. The women took an early gain after catching on to ECSU’s number one strategy. They were able to work against the Warriors to beat them at their own game starting with a bump from the center from senior captain Kristen Boyer. Boyer veered from the team’s usual strategy of hard hits from the left corner after noticing that the Warriors’ defense could work against it. She took the same approach with a soft attack instead. Some hard attacks, however, like that from freshman Lara Lolacono, were able to sneak into the victory.
The game progressed into a close battle between the two schools. Roger Williams took advantage of a 16-15 timeout to shake out some of the adrenaline. It was clear that the Warriors were getting in their heads. The third set ended with a service error from the Warriors to result in a 25-19 win for Roger Williams.
When asked about the close sets, Head Coach Dani Soubliere said, “I always have confidence in my team that we can pull out the win no matter what the score is.”
The Hawks continued with their soft attack strategy into the fourth set. Their usual high energy and spirits were enough to shake the Warriors into turning over many points off of errors. The Hawks won the final set 25-16.
Twelve of the kills of the afternoon came from Boyer. The other 18 were results from Lolacono and senior Cassandra Minogue. The Hawks’ aces on the day were from junior Maria Batas, Minogue, and senior Sarah McAniff. Lolacono and Minogue displayed blocks that helped the team get the win along with sophomore Jill McManaman. Freshman Julia Fields, Batas, and senior Katie Thieret were in control of the major assists of the game. Batas, Fields, and junior Meghan Chartier completed the team’s pertinent digs.
“There were some players that made a large impact in the match, but all in all it was a team effort,” Soubliere said. When asked if she knew her players would bring back the win today, Soubliere said:
“No games are predetermined and any team can beat you if they set out to do so. We go into every match with the mindset that we need to play our best in order to beat a team because you just never know.” And that is what the Hawks did on Saturday afternoon.
The next home game for the Hawks will be a Commonwealth Coast Conference rivalry game on Saturday, October 22, in the morning against Endicott College.