CHESTERTOWN, Md. - The Bryn Mawr volleyball team traveled down to Maryland earlier Wednesday evening for their first Centennial Conference road contest of the year. The Owls put on a strong fight throughout the match, including a thrilling second set, but ultimately lost a 3-0 decision to the Shorewomen of Washington College. Jane Rand posted a double-double for the Owls with 13 assists and 12 digs, while Nicole Wood led the team with nine kills and added another 12 assists. The Shorewomen were led by Cassie Kowalski and Lizzie Baden, each of whom posted seven kills on the night.
Bryn Mawr fell behind early on in the opening set of tonight's match, but the Owls came storming back to take the lead quickly. Jessie Zong notched the Owls' first point of the night with a kill, and later three straight kills from Wood made up part of a 6-1 run that gave Bryn Mawr a 7-6 lead in the set. The Owls were able to hold a two-point lead well into the middle part of the frame, with Rand and Penelope Newall tallying their first kills of the night, and Sienna Burnett posting three kills of her own to help give Bryn Mawr a 16-14 advantage. Unfortunately, the Owls would score just five more points from there, as the Shorewomen buckled down late in the set. Ultimately, despite "out-killing" the Shorewomen 13-12 in the frame, Bryn Mawr lost the first set by a 25-21 margin.
The Shorewomen used the win in that set to vault out to a quick 13-5 lead in the second set. However, the Owls slowly began to chip away at that deficit. Kills from Zong and Wood helped, and later a four-point run that included a kill from Camille Baechler and two aces from Rand made it just a 17-13 game. Bryn Mawr continued to battle, and just a little later, a 9-2 run got the Owls right to the precipice of winning the set. Wood and Burnett each tallied two kills apiece in that run, and an attack error from the Shorewomen gave Bryn Mawr a 23-21 advantage. Baden tallied a kill to bring Washington College back within one, but the Owls answered with a kill from Newall, getting Bryn Mawr a point away from tying the match up at a game apiece. Unfortunately, the Owls could not close things out, as Washington College won the next four points to claim the set in cruel, 26-24 fashion.
With that tough loss of the second set, some of the wind came out of the Owls' sails. Although Bryn Mawr continued to play very clean volleyball, making just five errors in the third set, the Owls also only tallied five kills in the frame. Meanwhile, Washington College posted a match-high .346 hitting percentage in the frame and made just two errors, allowing the hosts to pick up a stress-free 25-9 win of the final set and claim the 3-0 win.
Despite the final result, there were plenty of impressive performances from the Owls on the night. Zong hit the ball well all night and posted six kills in the match, her third-highest total this season. Nicole Wood once again had an incredibly effective night, posting a ridiculous .438 hitting percentage and making just two attack errors all evening. Rand also provided a very consistent presence on the court for the Owls, and she chipped in three service aces to go along with her team-high in assists and digs on the night. Sienna Burnett also posted a very efficient night with a .211 hitting percentage for the Owls.
Bryn Mawr will look to get back in the win column when they return to the court this weekend. The Owls will travel to Gwynedd Mercy on Saturday for a tri-match. Bryn Mawr is slated to face off against the host Griffins at 10 AM before turning around and playing Bryn Athyn at 12 PM, with both matches on the campus of Gwynedd Mercy.