Over the weekend, the Kenyon volleyball team took on two non-conference opponents: No. 16 Ohio Northern University (ONU) and Defiance College. The games took place in Ada, Ohio, home of ONU.
The Ladies started their day taking on the hosts, who were the overwhelming favorites. Despite an impressive 10-kill, 13-dig performance from Mackenzie Bruzzio ’20, 6 kills from fellow senior Haley Witschey and 12 digs contributed by Katie Howard ’22, the ONU Polar Bears proved why they are nationally-ranked. ONU took the match in straight sets, 25-15, 25-16, 25-17.
The Ladies’ next match was against Defiance College, a member of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC). The Ladies regained some momentum after their loss to ONU, rallying to beat Defiance 25-17 in the first set. It was an emphatic showing, with 15 of their 25 points coming from kills. However, despite 15 kills from Lauren Limbach ’21, eight blocks from Paige Milhon ’23 and another prolific showing from Bruzzio, the Ladies fell in the next three sets to lose the match, 17-25, 25-20, 25-13, 25-21.
“Our non-conference schedule has been tough this year, so playing a ranked team like ONU wasn’t a new experience for us … we no longer get intimidated by rankings … it’s become more about what we can control and be successful at on our side of the net”, said Ellie Luciani ’22. “I think these experiences are going to translate well into conference play, especially looking at teams like [Wittenberg University] and DePauw [University] that are ranked or receiving votes.”
Up next for the Ladies is the beginning of their NCAC play. They will take on Oberlin College on Sept. 27 at 7:00 p.m.