By Bryant Marks
SOUTH PRINCE GEORGE, VA -- On their Sophomore Night, the Richard Bland College of William & Mary women's volleyball team put forth all effort into their match with Catawba Valley Community College but would barely be outdone each set, 22-25, 18-25, & 15-25.
With this match in the books, the Statesmen finish the 2019 regular season 14-12. As they have won their only conference game this year, they hold the #1 seed in the Region X Tournament. The tournament will take place next Saturday, October 26, at Spartanburg Methodist and the team will look primed and ready after a weeklong of perfecting their craft.
The match started off with both teams going back and forth, as no team could go on a run without the other breaking their run. The Statesmen set the tone early against a team that has not lost a game in their conference in 135 matches and is the #6 team in the country in DII. Lead by Captain Ayanna Swan in her own Sophomore Night, Catawba's blockers had no answer for her hitting on the pins. While Swan was locked in for the match, the opponent was just as effective at their game. The first set would come down to the wire as only three points separated the final score. In the second set, Catawba would jump out to a sizable lead before the Statesmen scored their first point. That run would prove to be the difference in that set. The third set saw the Statesmen come out to play again like the first, but a combination of good play from Catawba and their own errors would be their downfall.
Although this match goes into the record books as a loss, it shows this team still has much room to improve and has to ability to hang with high-caliber teams. Using this realization will help these ladies going into the postseason as they hope to still hit their peak.
Outside hitter Ayanna Swan finished the match with 16 kills, 1 ace, and 10 digs. Libero Sydni Presson compiled 16 digs and 1 assist to cap off her Sophomore Night as well. On par with her normal game stats, setter Anna Ney added in 30 assists and 4 digs for the Statesmen.