HAVERFORD, Pa. – On Senior Day at Gooding '84 Arena, the Haverford College volleyball team came up short against Hood Trophy rival Swarthmore, falling in four sets to the visiting Garnet. Set scores were 25-22, 23-25, 15-25, 19-25. Haverford's lone senior, setter Zoe Wong, eclipsed the 3,000 assist plateau in the third set, becoming just the fourth player in program history to reach the mark.
Sophomore Sara Matsumura had a game-best 14 kills and added 15 digs for a double-double while Julia Gallagher-Teske added a career-high eight blocks in a losing effort. The Fords finish the season with a 16-13 overall mark and a 5-5 record in Centennial Conference action. Swarthmore is now 20-6 on the season and 8-2 in Centennial Conference play, heading into the conference tournament next weekend in Baltimore, Md.
The Fords took the first set behind a fired up crowd of Haverford fans, fending off an aggressive Swarthmore attack with a solid defensive display and great blocking that brought the crowd to its feat on multiple occasions. The Fords got a block from Gallagher-Teske and Adore to take an early 12-11 lead before Gallagher-Teske teamed up with Wong for yet another block at 14-13. The Fords took the lead at 16-15 with another combination of Gallagher-Teske and Wong and went ahead by three at 19-16 with a rejection from Natalie Pisch and Claire Nicholas. A kill from Nicholas gave the Fords a 20-17 lead, and after an attack error, Swarthmore called for timeout. The Fords pulled ahead as Matsumura took over late, finishing the final three points for the Fords in a 25-22 set victory.
In the second set, the two teams were deadlocked early, with Swarthmore getting some separation with a 3-0 run, forcing a Haverford timeout down 13-10. The Fords cut the lead to just two late with a Matsumura kill at 21-19, and trailed by just one at 22-21 and 23-22 after emphatic assisted blocks from Gallagher-Teske and Adore. Sarah Wallace forced down the final two kills for Swarthmore, tying the matchup at a set apiece with a 25-23 victory. Each team hit .089 in the defensive-minded stanza.
In the third set, Swarthmore was able to get into an offensive rhythm for the first time in the contest, hitting .407 while limiting the Fords to a .130 percentage. The Garnet sprinted out to a 17-8 lead, leading to a Haverford timeout. The Fords cut the lead to just nine with a block from Pisch and Nicholas, but Wallace ended the set with a kill at 25-15.
The fourth set was tied as late as 12-12, before Swarthmore unleashed a 5-0 run to take a 17-12 lead, forcing a Haverford timeout. Haverford used a Nicholas kill to pull to within three at 19-16, but Swarthmore received a block from Emma Morgan-Bennett to restore a five point lead at 21-16. The Fords once again cut the lead to 22-19 after an attack error from Morgan-Bennett, but she responded with a kill and a block in the next two points to hand match point to Swarthmore. An attack error from Matsumura ended the set 25-19 in favor of the visitors, allowing Swarthmore to escape with a 3-1 victory.
Wong finished with 28 assists on the afternoon while adding a kill and a service ace. Matsumura added four service aces. Five different Fords had multiple-block efforts. Swarthmore was paced by Olivia Leventhal, who had 14 kills while Sara Girard posted a game-best 25 digs. Malia Scott went for 43 assists on the match.
Prior to the contest, Haverford co-captain Wong was honored for her contributions to the program on and off the court. After entering rarefied air with her 3,000th assist, Wong leaves the program in the top five in program history in assists (3,010), assists per set (6.81), service attempts (1,404) and assist percentage (.398). Her .273 career attack percentage is good for eighth all-time in program history.
The Fords eclipsed the 15-win mark for the sixth consecutive season.