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Owls Volleyball Battles Hard in Home Opener

Nicole wood takes on bryn athyn

BRYN MAWR, Pa. - The Bryn Mawr volleyball team got their first home matches of the season earlier Saturday, as the Owls hosted a tri-match that included Immaculata and Bryn Athyn. Despite strong performances throughout the Bryn Mawr lineup on the day, the Owls were unable to get that first win they have been searching for. Nicole Wood led Bryn Mawr with 19 kills on the day, while her fellow co-captain Jess DeJoie added another 13 in a very solid performance. First-year Sydney Collins tallied 33 assists on the day, including a career-high 25 in Bryn Mawr's four-set loss to Bryn Athyn in the afternoon.

The Owls got their day started with a contest against Immaculata. Bryn Mawr fell behind 4-1 early in the first set, but Wood's first kill of the day helped the Owls close the gap to just one point. A 7-2 run from the Mighty Macs made it a 12-6 lead for the visitors, but then the Owls started to chip away at the deficit. Alana Mora-Mickens got things started with a kill on a nice feed by Collins, and that sparked an 11-2 run in favor of the hosts, giving Bryn Mawr a 17-14 lead. Izzy Gerosa got her first collegiate action on the day and added a service ace in that rally, and later, Casandra Paiz netted four of the final five points in that run thanks to service aces of her own. However, a well-timed timeout from Immaculata put an end to Paiz's serving run, and then the visitors ran off five straight points of their own to go back ahead 19-17. The seesaw affair continued even deeper into the set, as Bryn Mawr vaulted back ahead thanks to a five-point run of their own, but once again, an Immaculata timeout put a stop to that. Ultimately, the Mighty Macs got to set point at 25-24, but Jess DeJoie threw down her lone kill of the match to tie things up at 25. However, Immaculata was able to win the next two points in a row to shut down the Owls rally and take the first set 27-25.

Despite the early setback, Bryn Mawr came out firing in the second frame, taking an early 5-1 lead thanks to a kill from Collins and four errors by the Mighty Macs. However, the visitors quickly got things under control, winning eight of the next nine points to take a 9-6 lead. That lead stretched as high as 15-10, but once again, Bryn Mawr roared back. This time, the Owls ran off five in a row to knot the match back up, including a big kill by Wood sandwiched between two Gerosa aces. Unfortunately, the Owls would only win two more points the rest of the way, as Immaculata cleaned up their play and closed out the frame in 25-17 fashion. The third and final set would be a similar story, as Immaculata opened up a comfortable lead early and didn't look back. The Owls were unable this time to chip their way back into the set, and ultimately the visitors closed out the match with a 25-18 win of the frame.

When Bryn Mawr got back in action in the afternoon against Bryn Athyn, the first set ended up being a similar story to the way their previous match had ended. The Owls seemed a bit slow to get back in action after their mid-day break, as the Lions opened up an early 16-7 lead in the opening set of the match. DeJoie and Wood tried to spark a rally for the Owls, helping the squad win their next four points thanks to a kill from DeJoie and an ace from Wood. However, Bryn Athyn held off any further charge from Bryn Mawr, winning the next seven points to coast to a 25-16 win of the first set.

Bryn Mawr was not going to just roll over and hand Bryn Athyn the match, though. The second set was a much more competitive showing from the Owls, as they jumped out to a 7-2 lead early. Collins tallied two kills and an ace in that opening salvo. Later, Olivia Harkins-Finn netted a kill of her own to continue Bryn Mawr's strong start, givng the Owls a 12-7 lead. Then, back-to-back kills from Wood and Sydney Munnerlyn made it a 16-11 advantage in favor of the Owls. However, Bryn Athyn found that extra gear late in the match, and their improved play combined with several key errors from the Owls sparked a turnaround. The Lions won 14 of the next 17 points to swing the set 180 degrees and claim a 25-18 win of the frame.

Despite the setback in the set, Bryn Mawr would not let up, and it was in the third frame that the Owls showcased some truly impressive resolve. A lesser team may have folded when already down 2-0 in the match, but Bryn Mawr kept their energy up and started winning points. They took a 9-6 lead early in the set, with two kills from Wood, a kill and an ace from DeJoie, and another kill from Mora-Mickens helping to set the pace. Bryn Athyn responded with a run of their own to take a 13-9 lead, but the Owls stayed calm and continued to fight for each point. A service error stopped the Lions' rally, and then the Owls took over. A 7-1 run gave Bryn Mawr a 16-14 advantage, and they did not look back from there. A kill from the Lions brought the visitors back within one, but that would be the final point they got. Bryn Mawr won the next nine points of the set to close out the frame and win their first set of the season.

Unfortunately, the Owls couldn't make it two-in-a-row in set four. They got the set off to a good start, staying right with the Lions early. However, with things tied at 11-11, a 5-0 run from the visitors gave Bryn Athyn a lead they would not relinquish the rest of the way. Bryn Mawr did keep it close the whole time, as two kills from Wood around a Bryn Athyn error got Bryn Mawr within one at 23-22. After a service error, Mora-Mickens kept the Owls in the set with another enthusiastic kill. However, the Lions sealed the match with one final kill, winning the set 25-23 to claim the 3-1 win on the day.

The Owls will be right back in action at home on Tuesday night, as they will welcome Wesley for a 7:00 PM match.