October 31, 2013

Sixth straight win keeps volleyball's playoff hopes alive

HAVERFORD, Pa. - The Haverford College volleyball team registered its sixth consecutive victory with a 3-0 win over visiting Washington College on Thursday night. The sweep of the Shorewomen in their final regular-season contest kept the Fords' Centennial Conference playoff hopes alive.

Haverford (21-7, 6-4 CC) entered the match not having dropped a set to Washington (18-9, 4-5) since 2004 and the Fords showed right from the start that they were ready to extend that streak of dominating performances. 

The Shorewomen tallied the first point of the match but Haverford answered back in resounding fashion as it registered 12 of the next 14 points to move out to a 12-3 lead. Sophomore Keri Godbe was aggressive with eight kills as the Fords' attack posted a .424 hitting percentage in a 25-12 set-one victory.

Washington, holding onto its own playoff aspirations, did not go away easily as it trailed by just two (21-19) late in the second set. Sophomores Meg O'Day and Nina Mutty made sure the Shorewomen would get no closer as they tallied two kills apiece to close out the 25-19 victory. O'Day, with seven kills and no attack errors, paced the offense in the middle frame. 

Haverford overpowered Washington once again in the third set as it registered 15 of the first 20 points on its way to a 25-9 match-clinching win. The balanced attack saw seven different players register kills in the final set of the night.

Godbe came through with her 21st double-double of the season as she finished with a team-high 15 kills to go along with 13 digs. O'Day added 12 kills with just one attack error to register an impressive .524 hitting percentage in the match.

Sophomore Olivia Walsh and freshman Abby Keller each reached double figures in assists with 19 and 13, respectively.

Junior co-captain Madison Fuelling led the defense with 14 digs but she had plenty of help as nine of the 10 Haverford players to see action tallied a dig on the night. Sophomore Jeanna Kenney chipped in with 13 digs and Mutty added 11.

The Shorewomen managed just 19 kills over the course of the match with sophomore Kristin Lee contributing a team-high seven. Freshman Audrey Utchen led the visitors with 14 digs.

The Fords' ninth straight sweep of Washington kept Haverford in the Centennial tournament picture while also extinguishing the Shorewomen's playoff hopes.

Currently in fifth in the conference standings, the Fords will be paying attention to the conference scoreboard on Saturday. Haverford needs Gettysburg College (13-15, 5-4) to lose to McDaniel College (19-5, 7-2) as a loss by the Bullets would enable the Fords to qualify for the Centennial playoffs for the 14th consecutive season.