The Kenyon volleyball team opened conference play against Oberlin College on Saturday, before facing off against Baldwin Wallace University in its second home match of the season. Despite jumping out to one-set leads in both matches, the Owls ultimately dropped both matches to move to 3-11 (0-1 NCAC) on the season.
On Saturday, the Owls traveled to take on a Yeowomen team that had only lost one match so far this year. The Owls, as they have done often, started strong and were victorious in the first set 27-25. Kenyon and Oberlin traded the lead seven times and were tied 15 times, but the Owls were able to pull ahead in crunch time and take a 1-0 lead. However, the 10-1 Yeowomen proved too difficult for the Owls for the rest of the game, and Kenyon dropped the next three consecutive sets to ultimately fall 3-1. Defensive specialist Lauren Blakemore ’26 had five aces on the day, while Lindsey Abramson ’24 led the team in kills yet again with 10.
Three days later, the Owls hosted the Baldwin Wallace Yellow Jackets at Tomsich Arena. Yet again, Kenyon took the first set, this time 25-23. Trailing 17-20, a string of strong serves from Blakemore and four kills from Aura Barinas ’26 capped off a late Owls push that propelled Kenyon to lead 1-0. Despite the early victory, the Yellow Jackets shifted into second gear in the following three sets, winning 25-14, 25-13, 25-10 to come away with a 3-1 defeat of the Owls. Abramson notched nine kills and one ace, while Blakemore had 11 digs, closely followed by first-year Hannah Schwemm ’27 with 10.
Blakemore, who has played in all 50 sets this season, reflected on the past two games in an email to the Collegian. “Winning the first set [in both of the last two games] proves to me that we have the capability to pull out a win in these matches; however, being a really young team, it’s obviously difficult to have the experience necessary to keep our foot on the gas and push through to the end,” she said. “I think we’ve learned that we can hang with these teams, and that we definitely have the talent to do so. Mostly, I think we can continue to learn how to regulate our energy and pace of the game”.
Looking ahead, Blakemore is focused on the upcoming NCAC matches. “I think a goal for us would be to do well in conference play to secure a better position in the tournament at the end of the season. I think, specifically, if we can find a way to play more comfortably and reduce our errors, we’ll have a lot more success!”
The Owls will hit the road to face Wittenberg University on Saturday and non-conference opponent Defiance College on Oct. 4. Then, on Oct. 7, Kenyon will host its Senior Day game against Ohio Wesleyan University.