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Herons grab crucial conference win over Union in five-set thriller

Two different Herons recorded double-doubles as the William Smith College volleyball team defeated Union College in a thrilling five-set match this evening to grab a crucial conference win over the Garnet Chargers.

The Herons move to 11-8 overall with a 4-2 mark in the conference, while Union falls to 11-10 overall with a 2-4 mark in the Liberty League.

Sophomore Malya Sayre led William Smith with 23 kills (.246) and a season-high 20 digs for her fourth double-double of the season, while sophomore Jaylynn McCarthy chipped in 11 kills (.073) and 15 digs for second of the season.

The Herons put down 54 kills, hitting .185 compared to Union’s 54 kills and .110 hitting percentage. William Smith dominated at the net, recording a season-high 18 blocks as a team compared to the Garnet Charger’s six. First-year Maren Hunt led the team with a career-high 12 blocks, breaking the program record.

MATCH MOMENTS:

  • Union came out firing in the first set, putting down 13 kills, hitting .167 as a team compared to William Smith’s 11 kills and .122 hitting percentage. Union capitalized late in the set to grab a 25-21 win to open the match.
  • William Smith responded in set two with 13 kills compared to the Garnet Charger’s 12. The Herons held a 7-1 edge in blocks in set two to grab a 25-23 set two win to tie the game at 1-1.
  • William Smith and Union traded points in the third with both teams producing almost identical stats throughout the set. The Herons compiled three more attack errors than the Garnet Charger’s, handing Union a 25-22 win to regain the lead.
  • William Smith stormed back in a must-win fourth set in hopes of forcing a fifth set. The Garnet Chargers grabbed a late lead in the set before the Herons flipped the script, going on a 10-2 run to grab a 25-21 win, forcing a fifth set.
  • The Herons opened the final set on a 2-0 run behind a kill from Sayre and an attack error from Union’s Maddie McCarron. Both teams traded points with William Smith reaching the eight-point mark first. The Garnet Chargers tied the game at 10-10 forcing four tie games in the final five points before Sayre closed out the game with two kills. William Smith finished on top 15-13 to grab a thrilling 3-2 win.

MATCH STATS:

  • Sayre led the Herons with 23 kills (.246), followed by McCarthy with 11 (.073). Junior Elaina Wamhoff (.273) and sophomore Marin Montagne (.000) chipped in six kills each.
  • Junior setter Elaina Wamhoff recorded 41 assists, six kills (.273), six blocks and five digs in the five-set win.
  • First-year Maysie Malinaric recorded a team-leading 25 digs in the win. Sayre added 20 digs while McCarthy added 15 and Montagne chipped in 11.
  • William Smith dominated at the net, recording 18 blocks as a team compared to the Garnet Charger’s six. Hunt led the contest with a career-high 12, while Wamhoff and first-year Lindsay Umlauf chipped in six each.

COACHES CORNER:

“Tonight was a really gritty win,” said Head Coach Derryk Williams. “We fought back from 15-19 in the fourth set to push it to a fifth and just maintained the push through the end. We were excellent on the block tonight and found a way to win. We are very excited about our fight, and we look forward to Bard tomorrow.”  

UP NEXT:

William Smith will be back in action tomorrow when it heads to Annandale-on-Hudson, New York to take on Bard College in a Liberty League contest. First serve between the Herons and the Raptors is set for 2 p.m. in Stevenson Athletic Center.