The Rams’ Volleyball team rode a two-game winning streak into a matchup against the New England College Pilgrims Sept. 19 at home.
Framingham came out of the gates slow, as the Pilgrims took an early 7-1 lead and seemed to be in complete control of the match.
The Rams bounced back, making the game 14-14.
After tying the game, Framingham took off and won the first set 25-20.
The second set involved both teams trading points as the score was kept close throughout.
Framingham took the lead late and kept it until they won the set.
The Rams’ blocking played a significant part in breaking the close score and giving Framingham the 25-22 win.
One player in particular, Natalie Reid, improved the whole team’s blocking ability each time she took the floor, and was crucial in the second-set win.
Coach Richard Casali said, “Natalie is very good at setting a block and that helps her, as well as our middles, to get the job done.”
Another player, Hailey Sanders, backed Reid up and aided in the set win as well.
“Hailey leads our league in blocks per set,” Casali said.
The third set was dominated by Framingham up until the end when the Pilgrims made a comeback.
But before they could steal the lead, the Rams pushed past them and secured the 25-20 third-set win.
Brandee Thomas led the team with 10 kills and just four errors. She was at the head of nearly every Framingham attack on the night.
Thomas has been a critical member of the Rams’ team ever since she returned from injury earlier this season.
“Brandee’s offense has always been important to us,” Casali said. “And having her healthy again gives us another go to play when we need it.”
The Rams took on the Lasell University Lasers in Newton, Sept. 24.
Framingham controlled the first set early, jumping out to a 12-8 lead.
Lasell made a comeback late and pulled within two of the Rams, making the game 19-17.
From there, Morgan Failla took over the game.
She stepped up to serve and delivered five straight service points to give Framingham the 25-17 first-set win.
Thomas said, “That was a huge moment. It was the turning point of the game for all of us.”
She added, “Everyone was super excited, and it showed in how well we played after that point in the game.”
The Rams went on to dominate the second set, winning 25-14.
The third set was much closer, as the Lasers and Rams battled throughout, tying at 24-24.
Needing two points to win, Brandey Rodriguez delivered the Rams’ first point with a kill.
Freshman Emily Flaherty followed her with the game-winning service ace to secure the three-set victory for Framingham.
Thomas once again ended up at the top of the stat sheet in kills for the Rams.
This marks the eighth time Thomas has either led the team in kills or was tied for the lead.
“My success definitely comes from the work my teammates and I put in at practice,” Thomas said, “along with listening to Coach during games on which spots in the court are open.”
Alyssa Cafarelli led the team in digs with 14 and was followed by Flaherty, who had 12.
Framingham has now won five of its last six games.
After starting the season at 2-5, the Rams have flipped their season around, as they now sit at 7-6.
“At the beginning of the season, we had people playing out of position as an attempt to see what works best for us as a team,” Thomas said. “We recently reached a point where everyone is comfortable and we are doing what seems to work best for us, which is really exciting.”
Casali said, “Young players and new starters are now getting used to playing within the system.”
After their four-game winning streak was snapped before this game, the Rams will look to develop a new one and keep improving on their season.