By Ian Round and Reed Dickerson
The Kenyon Women’s Rugby Club (KWRC) placed second in the Mid-Atlantic region of the National Small Colleges Rugby Organization this weekend in Swarthmore, Pa. after beating Virginia Military Institute (VMI) and losing to Millersville University in the tournament final.
“We were really happy with how the weekend went,” KWRC President Molly McCleary ’14 said.
Although Kenyon routed VMI 46-10 in the regional semifinal Nov. 9, McCleary said the team was anxious before the game.
“We were nervous ﾗ I guess the expectation of military schools is they’re gonna be in really good shape,” she said. “They didn’t run around us as much as we thought they were going to.”
Kenyon lost to Millersville University 40-5 in the final the next day.
“We had a tough first half and fell back 35-nothing,” McCleary said. “Our team was very disheartened when they got a couple of tries early in the game.”
McCleary was proud that the team tied Millersville in the second half despite injuries sustained by Caroline Steele ’14, a player-coach, and Megan Darnell ’14, who scored 132 of the team’s 362 regular season points.
“Other people stepped up and were able to bring it back in the second half,” McCleary said.
Kenyon’s volleyball team finished out its season with two wins against the College of Wooster and Oberlin College in the North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament ﾗ placing fifth in the tournament and ending with an overall record of 4-23.
After losing to Hiram College 0-3 in the opening match, the Ladies moved to the loser’s bracket. In their first game in the loser’s bracket against the sixth-seeded Wooster, the Ladies cleaned up, winning their first and only straight-set win of the season, 3-0.
“Our defense played a really great game,” Head Coach Katie Charles said. “[Wooster is] not a good out-of-system team, so they made a ton of errors, which is what we were shooting for.”
The Ladies’ final match against Oberlin was a slog, but after five sets the Ladies came out on top and clinched the win in the fifth set 15-13.
For anchoring the Ladies all year long, Co-Captain Sierra DeLeon ’14 earned a spot on the All-NCAC second team, her third such postseason award in her Kenyon career. She led the Ladies with 370 kills and ranked second in the conference by averaging 3.16 kills per set. A perennial force for the Ladies, DeLeon has appeared in all 109 matches during the four seasons she has played at Kenyon. Her 1,026 career kills puts her fifth all-time in the Kenyon volleyball record book. Additionally, her career attack percentage of .185 also places her fifth all-time at Kenyon.
“We know it was a great way to end the season,” Charles said. “It’s just an indicator that [if we’d had] a couple of breaks during the season [then] we’d have a much different record. Every match we were competitive in, there were two point games, where we [were] this close to over the top, and it came together on the last day ﾅ this was definitely a season where the girls learned they could compete with everybody.”