Women’s volleyball clinched their first playoff berth since 2007 with a 3-2 win over Gordon College on Saturday, Nov. 2.
The Lions found themselves down 2-1 heading into the fourth set after winning the first set 25-19.
With three seniors that had yet to make a playoff appearance, the women knew it was “do or die,” according to senior Cayla Clinkscale (Winchendon, Mass.).
The Lions won the fourth set 25-20 to force a deciding fifth set.
“We have to beat them or we are done,” senior Leann Williams (Oxford, Pa.) thought heading into the fifth set.
In the fifth set, the Lions won the first point on an attack error by Gordon. The fifth set was tied two times, but ENC never trailed.
On a kill by Clinkscale, the Lions took the final set 15-12 and won the match 3-2.
Last season, on Oct. 23, 2012, volleyball’s five-set loss to Gordon in their second to last game of the regular season knocked the women out of playoff contention.
Clinkscale was reminded of that game going into the fifth set.
“It reminded me of last year when our loss to Gordon kicked us out of the tournament, but the difference was I wasn’t scared going into the fifth game this year,” Clinkscale said. “Our team is different; we have the desire and ability to win any game we go into.”
Senior Sam Losano (Elverta, Calif.) said winning against Gordon was special to the seniors, who had not made a conference tournament until this year.
“I know us three seniors have been wanting this moment since we came here,” Losano said. “We almost made it last year, and now this year we did it.”
Women’s volleyball will make their first playoff appearance since 2007.
“To be the first team to make it to playoffs since 2007 is really rewarding, because it shows that this program has come a long way,” Losano said.
The Lions, the No. 6 seed, will play No. 3 seed Endicott College tomorrow night.
“Our goal for the playoffs is to play with reckless abandon,” Clinkscale said. “When we just come out swinging and we aren’t afraid to make mistakes, we play our best.”
Clinkscale said the Lions want to give everything they have against Endicott.
“Basically, we just want to leave it all out on the court and have no regrets,” she said. “We don’t want to look back and say, ‘We could have done better.’ ”
The Lions travel to Endicott at 7 p.m. tomorrow, Nov. 5.