Section: Sports

Volleyball earns first win under new head coach versus Olivet

Volleyball earns first win under new head coach versus Olivet

Macy Reimbold ’23 led the team with 17 kills in victory. | COURTESY OF SEJIN KIM

On Saturday, the Kenyon volleyball team earned their first win under Head Coach Emma Olson, moving their record to 1-5. The Owls defeated Olivet College (Mich.) 3-1 after falling to Alma College (Mich.) 3-2 during the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC)/Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) Crossover held at Olivet College.

In their first match of the Crossover, the Owls nearly came away with their first win of the season. After splitting the first two sets 25-23 and 22-25, Kenyon took a 2-1 lead after winning the third set 25-21. In the fourth, the two teams traded points and the lead, but the Scots eventually won 25-20 to force a fifth set. Though the Owls took a 12-11 lead, Alma was able to capitalize on a pair of Kenyon errors and two kills to take the set 15-12 and the match 3-2. Macy Reimbold ’23, who led the Owls with 15 kills in the match, said that the loss to Alma helped to reinforce the importance of being detail-oriented to find success. “We learned that every point matters and that it comes down to achieving the little things that are within our control, especially in such close sets,” she wrote in an email to the Collegian.

Thankfully for the Owls, they had another chance to break their losing streak as they played the host Comets. After starting to trade points, Olivet took control of the set with a 6-1 run to win 25-21. In the second, the Owls took a commanding 18-11 lead and withstood a late Olivet comeback to tie the match at a set apiece. The third set against the Comets was perhaps Kenyon’s finest of the weekend, as they posted 15 kills and only a single error to take a 2-1 lead. With an Owls victory on the horizon, the Comets did not go quietly. Kenyon had to fight until the end, as they broke a 23-23 tie with a kill from Paige Milhon ’23, before sealing the match victory off of an Olivet error.

For the Owls, the victory was especially meaningful, as it was their first under Olson. “Winning our first match this season with Coach Olson confirmed for everyone that the process we have been buying into with a new coach is working,” Reimbold said. “It meant that what we had been training for the previous three weeks is working, and if we keep working at it, we are going to win a lot more matches.” Milhon echoed her teammate, emphasizing the importance of maintaining trust in the team’s process. “With eight new first-years and a new head coach, our team has had to adapt to playing next to new people under a new system,” she wrote in an email to the Collegian. “In our win over Olivet, things really started to come together and mesh.”

The Owls will look to tally another victory when they face off against Berea College (Ky.) at home on Friday. Reimbold is optimistic that the team can build on their past experience to find further success. “Each match shows us what we are doing well and what areas we need to continue focusing on in the following practices,” she said. “We are very excited about our first win of many this season, and we have great momentum from this past weekend that has put us in a really good position and mindset to win our upcoming matches.”

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