Women’s volleyball rallies on senior day

Senior Julia Fields sets the ball for a teammate.

Andrew Hart, Herald Reporter

The fact that volleyball only has six home games this season means every one should be cherished. This past Saturday was the first and only weekend home game and senior day, making the stakes raise even higher. Before facing off against Williams College on senior day, the Hawks took care of conference foe Wentworth Institute of Technology in a five-set match in Boston on Wednesday, Sept. 18. 

The Hawks stormed out of the gate on senior day, capturing the first set by a score of 25-15. Although the Hawks dropped the next two sets, they were able to stave off defeat and force the match to a fifth set. 

Williams started with a 5-1 lead until the Hawks clawed their way back into a tight scoring set, which eventually opened up through a senior connection — three straight kills from Maddie Neuberger assisted by Julia Fields. After that, the Hawks didn’t look back. They rode the momentum of taking two straight sets and big plays to a win for the seniors. 

“This specific senior class is the one I’ve been the closest with since being a part of RWU women’s volleyball,” said junior outside hitter Sarah Porter. 

“They are the most supportive people I’ve known here and have become such role models, especially playing at the collegiate level. Also, these five girls are well-rounded players, all playing different positions. They have such a deep passion for the sport which allows them to compete at such a high level and bring such a positive environment to the gym and the team,” Porter said.  

As for the abnormal circumstances surrounding the Hawks’ senior day, it did not seem to affect their performance and preparation.

“I think it was more motivating. It was definitely different having senior day so early on a weekend in September. But overall, it gave the team energy and excitement right off the bat,” Porter said.

 This explains the Hawks’ 10-point win in the first set of the match. 

The Hawks honored a very successful senior class, which has made two trips to the conference title game. The group of five has combined to produce five members of all-conference teams, including two first team appearances of right side hitter Lara Loiacono. In addition, the class produced two members in the conference all-academic team, in middle hitter Maddie Neuberger and right side hitter Kirstin Barber.  

The next test for the Hawks will be on Friday, Sept. 27, when they travel to face out of conference opponent Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass. The Hawks’ next home game does not fall until Wednesday, Oct. 2 against Gordon College.