Saturday was a festive affair in Tomsich Arena, as the Owls picked up their fourth win of the season against Oberlin College. The stands were busy with 250 spectators as Kenyon celebrated Senior Day.
The Owls celebrated their seniors in a pregame ceremony. Newcomer Kathryn McCaffrey ’26 emphasized the contributions they made. “Senior day is very important this year as we will be celebrating 8 seniors, who each play a huge part in our team and team culture,” she wrote in an email to the Collegian before the match.
The match itself against the Yeowomen proved to be exciting. While the Owls did not have any long runs, they dominated throughout the first set. Kenyon forced Oberlin to commit 10 errors, while they only had two. As a result, the Owls glided to a 25-12 victory.
The second set was close throughout. After both teams led in the early part of the set, the score tied at 15. From there the Yeowomen went 10-5 due to their dominance at the net. They won eight of their last ten points on kills and had 18 for the set.
Eras Yager ’23 was confident in the team’s ability to win the match after being tied 1-1. “Going into the third set, my mentality was that we were not going to lose this game to Oberlin and that I was going to do the best of my ability to score points and keep the other team out of system,” she wrote in an email to the Collegian. “I think the excitement of senior night kept a lot of us motivated to win.”
The Owls jumped out to an early 7-1 lead, with Yager being responsible for two kills, but the Yeoman responded with an 8-1 run of their own. After trading points for a while, Kenyon was able to get a 20-16 lead. They never looked back from there, winning 25-20.
The fourth set was again close at the beginning. After being tied at nine, Kenyon was able to grab a 14-11 lead. The Owls soared away from there going on a 11-5 run to close out the match.
After losing on the road to Ohio Wesleyan University on Tuesday, Kenyon is now finished with conference play. Ellie Luciani ’23, who is fourth on the team in digs, believes the Owls have improved over the season. “We learned a lot from NCAC play, and we are a better team at the back end of it than we were coming into it,” she wrote in an email to the Collegian. “That said, we have work to do before the tournament to beat our seed.”
The Owls will go into the NCAC tournament as the No. 7 seed. All eight teams make the NCAC tournament, but only the bottom four seeds play in round one. Kenyon will play the College of Wooster at 4 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 28, in Springfield, Ohio.
The two teams recently played on Oct. 19 where Kenyon lost in four sets (25-21, 21-25, 25-21, 25-21). Like most matches this season, the Owls fought hard until the end, but ultimately lost by a few points.
Before the postseason, the Owls have two matches on Saturday in University Heights, Ohio. Their current record is 4-18 (2-5 NCAC).
While Kenyon still has the NCAC tournament to look forward to, winning on Senior Day was clearly a highlight of the season. “I almost cried immediately after we won but I held it together,” Yager said. “A lot of cheering, jumping, and hugging ensued.”
Luciani shared a similar sentiment. “To see everyone’s family and friends come together to celebrate, as well as to be able to win in front of them, was something I’ll always be grateful for,” she said. “I love the girls in my class so much and we’ve gone through so much together so to be able to end on that note was fantastic.”
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