Last weekend, the Kenyon volleyball team traveled to Sandusky, Ohio, to start their season out with a series of matches at the Great Lakes Cross Over. Under the leadership of new interim head coach Sharon Adams, the Owls started their season off 2-3 overall.
In the first match of the weekend against Mount Aloysius College (Pa.), the Owls came out strong with a four-set win. After dropping the first 25-18, the team came back to definitively take the next three sets, 25-21, 25-19, 25-17. Lindsey Abramson ’24 led the team with 12 kills, while setter Maggie Wolf ’26 dished out 20 assists. The Owls’ overall hitting percentage clocked in at .204 compared to Mount Aloysius’s .165. Kenyon also racked up 13 aces.
Kenyon did not fare as well in its second match on Friday, falling to Heidelberg College in straight sets. Although the Owls fell 25-7 in the first set, they rallied back in the second and third sets to put up scores of 15-25 and 21-25, respectively. The Owls managed to put up 15 kills in the match, but hit -.125, their lowest hitting percentage of the weekend. Despite the overall score, Joy Carstanjen ’26 put up three aces and two blocks. Lauren Blakemore ’26 and Hannah Schwemm ’27 both tallied eight blocks for the Owls as well.
Kenyon started its Saturday off on a high note against University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg (Pa.), winning in straight sets (25-19, 25-14, 25-15). Once again, Abramson led the team with 11 kills. Becca Gwynne ’26 put up four blocks and five kills in the match, with Blakemore amassing 13 digs. The Owls’ best stat of the match was their impressive 19 aces, which helped them build a strong lead in all three sets of the match.
The team ran out of steam at the end of the day and ultimately lost to Capital University in straight sets. Though the Owls fought hard, they fell 25-19, 25-19, 25-11. Kenyon started out strong in the second set with 11 kills, but Capital’s service game overpowered the Owls. In the losing effort Wolf and Schwemm put up 11 and eight assists, respectively. Despite the defeat, Ferrara described a high point from the match, writing in an email to the Collegian: “Becca Gwynne slammed a ball down with no block and our sideline went wild.”
On Wednesday night, the Owls fell to Bluffton University 3-1 in a closely contested match. In the first set, Kenyon fell behind early, trailing by four or more points multiple times. But the team rallied to send the set into a tiebreaker, where they ultimately lost 26-28. Energized, the Owls came out strong and led for the entirety of the second set, winning 25-23. But the Owls could not maintain their intensity, losing the third set 19-25, before dropping the fourth and final set in heartbreaking fashion, 25-27.
The Owls will next play at the NCAC/MIAA Crossover. Defensive specialist Arianna Flota ’27 is looking forward to the challenges posed by the upcoming season: “We’re feeling very positive overall, and we’re hopeful for the upcoming season as our sophomores and [first-years] step up.”