HARRISONBURG, Va. - After two impressive performances on the opening day of their 2018 campaign yesterday evening, the Bryn Mawr volleyball team was right back in action for another pair of matches on Saturday afternoon. The Owls faced off against Salem and Catholic on day two of the Route 42 Classic in Virginia, and despite their best efforts, the fatigue from last night's marathon five-set match shone through. Bryn Mawr battled hard, but ultimately lost in straight sets in both matches on the day. Nicole Wood led the way for the Owls with 13 kills, while Penelope Newall tallied eight assists in each match to help spark the Owls' offensive efforts.
Thanks to her incredible efforts over the weekend, Wood was named to the Route 42 Classic All-Tournament team. "Nicole made a statement for her debut in collegiate competition," Owls head coach Nicole Reiley stated following the tournament. "She ran the floor as a setter and owned her position every single point of every set. She is an impact player that does not quit and I can't wait to see her grow and progress even more throughout the course of the year."
In the opening contest of the day, the Owls faced off against Salem. After emptying their tanks late last night against Mary Baldwin, it took a set for Bryn Mawr to find their legs in this contest. The Owls were just a bit off in the opening frame, recording just nine points on two kills. Salem won five of the first six points and closed out the set on a 5-0 run, coasting their way through play in between to claim the frame in 25-9 fashion.
The second set was much more competitive for the Owls, who tallied a match-high 11 kills in the frame. Salem once again got off to an early lead in the set, but the Owls showed great resilience throughout the set to stay neck-and-neck with their opponents. A kill from Sienna Burnett and another from Newall tied things up at 4-4 early on, and then later, three kills from Wood helped Bryn Mawr knot the set back up at 8-all. A four-point run from Salem forced the Owls to call a timeout, and they initially responded well to that stoppage. Another kill from Burnett surrounded by a pair of errors from Salem got the Owls back within two points, but their opponents were simply too relentless. Salem strung together another run to get out to a 20-11 lead, but Bryn Mawr gave it one last rally to get back in the game. Yet another kill from Burnett started the run, which also included two kills from Wood and an ace by Casandra Paiz. Jess DeJoie took a pass from Newall and hammered a kill of her own to get Bryn Mawr within five, but Salem closed out the set with back-to-back points to take a 2-0 advantage in the match.
In the third set, Salem ran out to a huge lead early on, putting Bryn Mawr in a big hole. The Owls didn't let that get them down, as they worked hard to chip away at the Salem advantage. Wood tallied a kill and an ace to help the Owls' cause, and later Burnett and Newall got on the board as well with kills of their own. Another ace from Paiz and a kill from Camille Baechler got Bryn Mawr to double-digits, but it was too little, too late for the Owls. Salem ultimately won the set 25-13 and took the match in 3-0 fashion.
In match two, the Owls took on Catholic University of America. In the opening set, Bryn Mawr once again found themselves behind early, as the Cardinals vaulted out to an 11-3 advantage. Kills from Jessie Zong and Nicole Wood and a pair more from Camille Baechler helped Bryn Mawr shave down the margin, but Catholic simply proved too difficult to stop in that opening set. One final kill from Zong got the Owls to double-digits, but Catholic cruised to an easy 25-10 win of the set.
The second frame was a much better story for the Owls, who got off to a fast start thanks to a kill from Baechler on a nice set by Newall. An error from the Cardinals and an ace by Wood got Bryn Mawr an early lead, and they would hang onto that advantage for the next several points. A kill from Burnett on another great feed by Newall made Bryn Mawr's lead 7-5, but Catholic continued to chip away at the margin and ultimately claimed an 11-8 advantage. The Owls were able to battle back to within a point thanks to kills from Baechler and Wood, but that would be as close as they would get for the rest of the set. An eight-point run from the Cardinals put the set virtually out of reach, as Catholic pulled away to win the frame 25-15.
The third set was another difficult proposition for the Owls, as Catholic once again got out to a fast start. In the third set of their fourth match of the weekend, the tired legs of the Owls began to set in. The Cardinals jumped out to a 6-1 advantage and never looked back in the set. Wood, Jane Rand, and Jocelyn Bravo each tallied kills for the Owls in the frame, but it wasn't enough to overcome runs of 5-0 and 5-1 from Catholic, who closed out the 3-0 win with a 25-13 victory in that third set.
The Owls will now get some well-deserved rest before getting back in action next week. Bryn Mawr will be back in action on Thursday evening for their first home contest of the season, as they will play host to Immaculata in the Class of 1958 Gymnasium.