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Herons grab a pair of wins to close out home tournament

  • / Updated:
  • Kyle Evans 

The William Smith College volleyball team earned two wins to close out the 2023 William Smith Tournament at 3-0. The Herons defeated Thiel College 3-0 this afternoon, followed by a 3-2 win in a five-set thriller over SUNY Brockport this evening. William Smith moves to 5-1 on the season while the Tomcats fall to 1-8, and the Golden Eagles fall to 2-5.

Sophomore Malya Sayre led the Herons through two games, recording 21 kills, 12 service aces, 10 digs and two blocks. Sayre recorded 10 service aces in the five-set match against Brockport as the Herons compiled 20 service aces as a team, breaking the previous program record of 19 against SUNY Morrisville on Sept. 17, 2022.

Junior setter Elaina Wamhoff compiled 52 assists, 16 digs, 12 kills and seven service aces through two games. Wamhoff was recognized as the William Smith Tournament Most Valuable Player for her efforts through three games.

Along with Wamhoff, Sayre and sophomore Jaylynn McCarthy were named to the All-Tournament team. Brockport’s Jordan Thompson and Ashley Allen, along with Thiel’s Carlie Reynolds and Hartwick’s Staecia Silofau rounded out the All-Tournament team selections.


Match 1 (Thiel):

  • William Smith opened its first match right where it left off last night. The Herons hit .312 as a team compared to the Tomcats .080. Sophomore Jaylynn McCarthy led William Smith in set one with four (.500) of the Herons 13 kills. William Smith took set one 25-12.
  • The Herons continued their momentum in set two, outhitting the Tomcats .269 to .034. Thiel fought back in the second set as there were 12 ties and six lead changes within the set. William Smith regained momentum late in the set after five kills (.333) from sophomore Marin Montagne. McCarthy and first-year Lindsay Umlauf added two big blocks each to grab the set 25-20.
  • William Smith produced its most efficient set in the third, posting a .412 hitting percentage as a team. Sayre chipped in a team-leading five kills in the final set to give the Herons a 25-16 set three win.

Match stats:

  • McCarthy (.412) and Sayre (.172) led the Herons with nine kills each, while Montagne added eight (.278)
  • Wamhoff added 27 assists, six digs, four kills (.400), and four service aces in the win.
  • First-year Maysie Malinaric recorded a team-leading 13 digs, while Montagne chipped in 10.
  • Umlauf led the Herons with three blocks in the match, while McCarthy chipped in two.

Match 2 (SUNY Brockport):

  • William Smith came out strong in the opening set, serving the Golden Eagles out of system often. Sayre led the Herons with four service aces in set one as William Smith kept Brockport to a negative hitting percentage (-.250). Wamhoff recorded three kills (1.000), four assists and two aces as the Herons took set one 25-10.
  • The Herons kept the pressure on in the second set, matching their offensive consistency with their defensive pressure. William Smith recorded four kills in the set and were led by Sayre with two, and Montagne along with Umlauf and first-year Maren Hunt with one each. The Herons would finish set two on top 25-15.
  • Brockport responded in the third set, hitting an impressive .550 as a team compared to William Smith’s .105. The Golden Eagle’s strong offensive efforts in set three helped Brockport to a 25-18 win in the set.
  • Despite five kills from Montagne in set four, the Golden Eagles continued to shine in system, hitting .429 as a team. Brockport’s dominant set four would end in a 25-14 win for the Golden Eagles, forcing a fifth set.
  • William Smith and Brockport traded points in the fifth set after a 2-0 run in Brockport’s favor to open the set. McCarthy posted three big kills in the final set as Sayre added two more service aces to clinch the victory. The Herons finished on top 15-10 to reverse last season’s five set loss to the Golden Eagles.

Match stats:

  • Sayre led William Smith again in match two with 12 kills, hitting .143 in the match. Montagne followed closely behind with 11 kills, hitting .069.
  • Wamhoff recorded 25 assists, while adding eight kills (.462), ten digs and three service aces.
  • Wamhoff led the Herons with 10 digs, while Montagne and McCarthy both chipped in nine each.
  • Umlauf recorded a team-leading four blocks while Sayre added two.


“We showed a lot of grit this weekend and I’m super proud of this team,” Head Coach Derryk Williams said. “Brockport is a really good team so for us to hold them off in the fifth showed some serious determination. I am very proud of this group for improving this week in practice and our results showed.”


William Smith will be back in action on Tuesday, Sept. 12, when it welcomes Alfred University to Bristol Gymnasium for a midweek nonconference match. First serve between the Herons and the Saxons is set for 7 p.m.