After winning the Empire 8 Championship on Nov. 6, the Ithaca College volleyball team played two more games for its season before being knocked out in the second round of the NCAA Championships on Nov. 12.
The Bombers traveled to Brockport, New York, to take on Middlebury College in the opening round of the NCAA tournament Nov. 11. They walked away with a 3–2 victory.
The Panthers took an early lead over the Bombers, staying on top for most of the set. The Bombers did not give up as they came closer to catching up to the Panthers. The Bombers tied the set 20–20 and battled for the remainder of the set to win 27–25.
In the second set, the Bombers took the lead and remained in the lead throughout the set. The Panthers tied the set 23–23 and the Bombers regained possession to take the set 25–23.
The Blue and Gold once again took an early lead in the third set and lost the lead halfway through the set to the Panthers. The Panthers were able to remain in the game, winning the third set 25–21.
The Panthers continued to rally as they took the fourth set 25–18, forcing a fifth and final set.
The Bombers, once again, jumped on top quick to take the lead over the Panthers. However, the Bombers lost the lead early and the Panthers had full control over the set. After being down 14–11, the Bombers came back strong and took the fifth set by the score of 16–14.
In the win, junior outside hitter Joelle Goldstein and freshman outside hitter Taylor McCarthy both had 20 kills. Junior setter Kayla Gromen led the team with 29 assists. Sophomore defensive specialist Tara Stilwell led with 35 digs, and sophomore middle hitter Amanda Cerruti led the team with six blocks.
The Bombers advanced to the semifinal round of the regional tournament, and faced SUNY Brockport Golden Eagles on their home turf Nov. 12.
The Golden Eagles won the first set 25–16. In the second set, the two teams traded points early on, as neither team could maintain the lead. The Golden Eagles took an 12–8 lead by scoring four consecutive points after the game was tied at 8–8. The Golden Eagles’ lead eventually stretched to 21–14. The Bombers narrowed the gap to 24–17, but a kill by Brockport’s Kelly Walters clinched the set victory to take a 2–0 lead over the Blue and Gold.
The third set began with both teams again competitively exchanging points. However, Brockport eventually took a 15–7 lead. The Bombers again rallied, but the Golden Eagles managed to stretch their lead to 23–16. Despite the efforts of the Blue and Gold, sophomore setter Jamie Schlesinger clinched the victory with a kill to give the Golden Eagles a 25–20 set victory and a 3–0 win in the match.
McCarthy led the team with seven kills, while Stilwell led the team with 19 digs. Junior setter Gromen led the team with 14 assists, and freshman setter Caitlyn Floyd contributed 12 assists.
SUNY Brockport senior outside hitter Sam Holdredge led the team with 15 kills while junior setter Noelle Poloncarz led the team with 32 assists. Junior defensive specialist Kathleen Irvin led the Golden Eagles with 13 digs.
This was a rematch of the Bombers’ first game of the season, in which the Golden Eagles swept the Blue and Gold.
With the 3–0 loss to SUNY Brockport, the Bombers have been eliminated from the NCAA Championships.