The Ladies’ volleyball team has had an inconsistant past few weeks in their quest for a North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) Championship, and their first National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) bid in 30 years.
In their last six games, the Ladies have gone 2-4, coming up with victories against Capital University (Ohio) and Oberlin College and losing against Heidelberg University (Ohio), Mount Vernon Nazarene University and Denison University to move their record to 12-8 and 2-2 in the NCAC.
Kenyon hosted the Tri-Match for the first time and found themselves losing their first match against the Mount Vernon Nazarene Cougars three sets to none.
The game was closer than the score indicated, as the Ladies only scored 10 fewer points than the Cougars in the entire match. In the second match, the Ladies rode 12 kills from Haley Witschey ’20 and 12 kills from Delaney Swanson ’19 to defeat the Capital Crusaders 3-0.
On Saturday in Tomsich Arena, the Ladies defeated NCAC opponent Oberlin College 3-0 in a match that was nothing short of domination as they honored seniors Ashley Martens, Rachael Thorson, Jensen Shurbert and Grace Riley.
“It’s still crazy to think that Grace, Ashley, Jensen and I are seniors,” Thorson said. “We came to Kenyon the same year that Amanda Krampf took the head coach position, so we’ve been with her the past four years watching her turn the program around.”
The Ladies never let Oberlin come within seven points of winning a set, including finishing off the second set with a magnificent 11-point run and starting the third set with six straight points to score 17 in a row.
“I attribute our 17-point run against Oberlin to a difference in energy and belief,” Maleah Miller ’20 said.
“We wanted to put on a show for our fans and give the seniors a game to remember, and we did,” she continued.
Now 2-0 in the conference, the Ladies continued on their NCAC journey the next day, traveling to Granville, Ohio and dropping a heartbreaker 3-2 to their biggest rival, the Denison University Big Red.
In their first match against their former assistant coach from 2014-16, the Ladies found themselves in a decisive 5th set for only the second time this season.
Up 9-6 in the final set, which would end when the first team reached 15, the Big Red rallied to score six consecutive points, and nine of the last 11 points to hand the Ladies their first NCAC loss.
On Wednesday night, the Ladies traveled to Delaware, Ohio to take on the Ohio Wesleyan Battling Bishops. They found themselves up against a team with highly-skilled blockers and setters. The Bishops rarely let Kenyon kill attempts hit the floor as they defeated the ladies 3-0.
The Ladies will continue their journey to the championship against Depauw University on Saturday and then visit the College of Wooster on Tuesday as they near the final stretch of their season.