The Kenyon Ladies began conference play on Saturday in Meadville, Pa. with a dominant three-set win over host Allegheny College: 25-18, 25-20, 25-18. The win snapped a short two-game losing streak, moving the team to 10-3 (1-0 NCAC).
Early on in the first set, the Gators kept pace with the score knotted at 14. Kenyon then proceeded to win five of the next six points.
The second set was controlled throughout by the Ladies, and an 8-1 run in the final set finished off the match in style. Mackenzie Bruzzio ’20 contributed mightily to the 37-20 overall kill advantage with a strong 10 kills, while Delaney Swanson ’19 tallied nine.
Despite the relatively easy win, the Ladies committed 23 errors. As the conference schedule begins to heat up, the team will look to address this issue.
“This weekend was a really great test for our team. We struggled on our side of the net by making a lot of errors. I think our team learned a lot about pulling together and overcoming mistakes,” Head Coach Kendra Mosher said. The error issues continued into the second game of the weekend as they racked up 30 of them.
In a surprisingly difficult second match, the Ladies had to go the distance to prevail in a come-from-behind win against Chatham University. Facing adversity, the team needed strong production from a variety of sources in a scrappy game Saturday afternoon. Four players had double-digit kills, once again led by Bruzzio with 18 kills and Swanson with 15 kills. After losing an extremely close first set 25-23, the Ladies were clearly deflated. They committed 12 errors in the ensuing set and fell behind two sets to none.
The third set saw Kenyon trail 17-14. This was a wake-up call for the Ladies, who proceeded to score six straight points at 18-18, leading to a 25-19 win.
They carried their momentum into the fourth set for the Ladies, who took an emphatic 25-19 win into the deciding frame. Without much trouble, Kenyon finished off the tenacious Cougars 15-7.
The reliable Meghan Cason ’21 was a huge key to the turnaround, accounting for an astonishing 61 of the 67 assists in the match. With the triumphant win, the Ladies’ record now stands at 11-3.
In their third game on Sept. 25, the Ladies fell to Heidelberg University by a score of 3-1. The Student Princes’s Morgan Strenk led her team to the hard fought win. Kenyon didn’t catch many breaks, but once again, Swanson registered 25, now tied for sixth-most kills in Kenyon single-game history.
Adding to the good news, Saturday proved to be a milestone day for Swanson. She joined just four other players in Kenyon history who have achieved both 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs in their careers. Swanson currently ranks fifth in all-time kills on the Hill.
Tonight at 7 p.m., the Ladies will look to improve in this area as they return home for out-of-conference opponent Otterbein University.