BY LEXI LOBDELL '20
It was a battle of felines last Saturday, Sept. 23 as the Mount Holyoke College Lyons (5-5) hosted the Emerson College Lions (5-8) in NEWMAC play.
Early in the first set, the Lyons were head-to-head with Emerson before earning an 11-5 lead. Emerson fought back with six consecutive points to tie the game, and despite the Lyon’s efforts, Emerson’s late five point streak concluded the set 25-20.
Sasha Simine ’20 opened the second set with a hard kill for the Lyons, but Emerson quickly pulled ahead 6-2. The Lyon’s battled back to catch up 9-8, but Emerson’s communication improved and they pulled ahead once again. Mount Holyoke stayed with them 17-14, until Emerson locked down a 8-1 run to win the set 25-15.
Carrying their momentum into the third set, Emerson went on a 6-1 run off the start. A kill from Sarah Caggiano ’19 helped place the Lyons back in the game, taking a one point lead, 9-8. However, the lead was short lived, as Emerson pulled ahead decisively to win the final set 25-15. Despite the loss, Simine carried the Lyons with sevenkills, three blocks and two digs. Jamesa Allen ’19 supplemented her effort with six kills, three blocks and two digs. Brayden Walden ’21 and Melissa Stewart ’18 contributed 10 assists apiece.
Despite last season’s results and the recent losses, the Lyons are trying to move forward. The team is boasting a new coach this year, Iris Carpio, who is working hard to build the program. Captain Sarah Caggiano ’18 explained, “I think that there have definitely been changes, but I think that they have all been good. Every coach has a different coaching style and this one is definitely more strict, I suppose, than we’re used to. But accountability is something that all of our coaches have really tried to instill in us and that hasn’t changed with this coach.” Teammate Isabell Linde ’19 said. “I do think our team culture has definitely been geared more towards a competitive atmoshphere than we’ve been used to.”
Looking forward to the rest of the season, Caggaino expressed the team’s goals: “I think our main goal is just a winning season and winning some conference matches. We kind of just want to turn our energy around. We’re so comfortable and used to being where we are at and we’re really trying to push and flip things around.”
With this mindset, Linde also belives in the power of student support. “Come to our games. The more people who come the better we play!”
The Lyons will be traveling to MIT (15-0) this Saturday at 12 p.m.