Section: Sports

Kenyon volleyball steals position in NCAC tournament

Kenyon volleyball steals position in NCAC tournament

Last season the Ladies failed to win a single game in their eight North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) games, but this year they have made it to the NCAC playoff tournament.

Volleyball won its past two games in their NCAC play, breaking a six-game NCAC loss streak. Last weekend, the Ladies took home their first conference win while hosting their annual breast cancer fundraising event, called “Dig Pink.” During the matchup, Kenyon (11-11, 2-6 NCAC) beat Allegheny College (15-9, 2-5 NCAC) in a 3-0 sweep. On Tuesday, the Ladies scored again, beating the College of Wooster (12-13, 0-8 NCAC) in four sets.

The Ladies trumped the Allegheny Gators Saturday in their first game, 25-10. Tierney McClure ’18 and Delaney Swanson ’19 led the offense with 10 kills each, and Lauren Kerr ’18 followed with eight kills.

The beginning of the second set brought a sharp contrast to the first set; the Ladies stumbled, giving the Gators a seven-point lead. That marginal edge, however, did not last long, as Kenyon fought back and won the set 25-19.

In the final set against Allegheny, Kenyon won 25-12. The Ladies scored 56 points, including four aces.

“It was definitely an exciting win for us,” Head Coach Amanda Krampf said. “This weekend, everyone, from those who were on the court to those who were on the bench, I think everyone was mentally in the match and contributed to our win.” This win marked Kenyon’s first straight-set win against Allegheny since 2013, as well as the team’s 10th season win thus far, bringing their record up to 10-11.

“I just think we had this little slump in our season, and that happened right as we came to conference games, but now we’re back on the rise,“ Ashley Martens ’18 said. “Sometimes we have this rollercoaster of energy during games and we had a little slump at the beginning of the second set, but we steadied it out and I think we managed to pull through strong.”

Martens attributes much of this new energy to Krampf. “She’s the best coach I’ve ever had,” Martens said. “She cares so much about each of us, like she always pushes us to get better.”

According to Bridget Murdoch ’18, Krampf has revitalized the Kenyon volleyball program.

“She doesn’t pick favorites,” Murdoch said. “If anything, she spends more time with the people who aren’t playing. You know, she’s like, ‘I want you to play. I know you can be a starter.’”

In the game against Allegheny, Krampf could be seen in her business attire, crouched down in a huddle with her team, speaking excitedly.

Murdoch said volleyball depends a lot on communication on the court, and the Ladies did especially well speaking to one another during the Allegheny match. “We actually had a lot of plays that took us out of system this game,” Murdoch said. “But we were able to get it back onto the court and ended up winning those points.”

Murdoch said the team is optimistic about the rest of the season. The Ladies’ recent win against Wooster brought their record up to 11-11, 2-6 NCAC, and secured them the number-six seed out of eight teams in the NCAC tournament, which is slated to take place Nov. 6 and 7. Tonight the Ladies will be playing Marietta College Pioneers (Marietta, Ohio) in a non-conference home game at 7 p.m.

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