After torrid start, women#039;s volleyball team falters

by Beacon Staff • September 16, 2009

Amherst started strong in the first two sets in the lead, but Emerson challenged with every serve.,After starting with seven consecutive wins, the Emerson women's volleyball team fought hard in its toughest challenge yet against Amherst College. The Lions tried to keep the scores in each set close, eventually losing at home for the first time Sept. 15.

Amherst started strong in the first two sets in the lead, but Emerson challenged with every serve. And with each point Emerson scored, their teammates celebrated: "We want another one! Just like the other one!"

The first set ended in Amherst's favor, 25-19. Emerson quickly picked up the pace after losing the first period, repeatedly tying the scoreboard until a couple of mistakes brought Amherst ahead once again, ending the second set at 25-21.

"We made too many mistakes in each game, and our errors helped [the other team]," said Head Coach Craig Letourneau. "I think it'd be interesting to see what we could do if we had consistent ball action."

Although Emerson stumbled while Amherst pulled ahead a couple points at a time, junior Lauren Zaniboni and sophomore Jessica Drumright steadily blocked many of Amherst's hits. Zaniboni's height advantage, 6'2" helped many of those saves, as Drumright jumped right at her level.

The third period was Emerson's best set yet. Fans cheered loud as Emerson took the lead at 13-10; however, Amherst caught up and tied them at 16 points. Fans were tense as Amherst once again came out in the lead.

The final game ended at 20-25, with a disheartening loss for the Emerson lions.

Senior Captain Erin Connolly said she was just as frustrated.

"We could have played a lot better," she said. "It pissed me off because I know we're much better than what was shown tonight."

Letourneau was disappointed because he feels the win was not out of his team's reach.

"It's a little frustrating. I'm not saying we're better than the Amherst team, but I think we're capable of beating them," he said.

The loss highlighted a simple goal of the Lions' season; to play at the top of their game, all game.

"Our goal is to win the Great Northeast Athletic Conference," said Connolly, a marketing communications major. "We can win it if we just get to our peak, and stay there."

Freshman Lane Brenner still remains confident in the team's abilities.

"I think winning seven games has proven us to be a great team," the communications studies major said. "It's definitely not how we usually play, but with classes starting, we're all adjusting to a new schedule."

The team hopes to come back with a win in their Sept. 17 match against Babson College.

"Babson has a good team but it's all about ball control," said Letourneau. "We just need to improve our tempo offensively, and then we can win against anybody."