V-Ball VIPsTrailing 5–1 is not ideal in the fifth set of a volleyball match, which goes to 15. That’s where Swarthmore’s team found itself during the third round of the NCAA Tournament—Garnet volleyball’s first-ever appearance—with a spot in the national quarterfinals on the line. Their Sweet 16 appearance may have been new, but their opponent was not; lined up across the net was the 12th-ranked Johns Hopkins Blue Jays, who had defeated the Garnet twice during the season. Head coach Harleigh Chwastyk called a timeout. “One of our players who’s usually quiet, Lelosa Aimufua ’20, told us, ‘We are better than this. We have so much more to give,’” Sarah Girard ’19 recalled in the post-match news conference. “Something just clicked.” That would be an understatement—Swarthmore rattled off an 8–0 run to alter the outlook of the match. Hopkins briefly recovered after its own timeout but ultimately fell to the Garnet’s game. In delight, Swarthmore rushed the court for a celebration dogpile in front of a majority pro-College crowd. The Garnet’s five seniors (above) accepted the Regional Championship trophy. It was their 97th career victory in a Swarthmore uniform and the most memorable in their College career. After the tournament, Swarthmore ranked 18th in the American Volleyball Coaches Association poll, the program’s first-ever national ranking.