BRYN MAWR, Pa. - The Owls volleyball team faced off against Gettysburg College inside the Class of 1958 Gymnasium as the capstone to a very enjoyable Homecoming Saturday for Bryn Mawr. Playing in front of a packed house for this one, the Owls struggled a bit out of the gate, but they quickly battled back in the second and third sets to make for a very entertaining contest. The visitors ultimately improved their record to 13-2 with a 3-0 win on the night, but Bryn Mawr certainly made them earn it, playing very solid volleyball in the final two frames. Penelope Newall led the Owls with five kills on a night where all but two players tallied a kill for Bryn Mawr. Jane Rand posted ten assists on the night to lead the Owls in that category. Gettysburg brought a deep and solid rotation to tonight's match, and they were led by seven kills from Allie Stranick. Sophie Gelling also had five blocks in the match for the Bullets.
The visitors got out to a fast start in the opening set, jumping to a 7-0 lead right out of the gate. That paved the way for a somewhat easy win for the Bullets, as Bryn Mawr just could not get out of their own way in the first set. The Owls made 14 errors in the frame, and despite kills from Nicole Wood, Kira Ogoshi, and two from Jessie Zong, there simply wasn't enough firepower to overcome that kind of deficit. Ultimately, Gettysburg closed out the first set on another big run, winning the final 10 points of the frame to take a 25-6 win in the opener.
The second set was a much more competitive battle right from the beginning. Bryn Mawr won the first two points of the set thanks to a bad serve and a bad set from the Bullets. Later, the Owls would help their own cause with an ace from Casandra Paiz, and then a kill from Camille Baechler on her senior night put Bryn Mawr in front 5-4. The Bullets once again strung together a rally, winning the next six points, but Bryn Mawr did not wilt. The Owls were able to force the Bullets into several more errors, climbing back within 12-9. Later, Sienna Burnett, Baechler, and Penelope Newall registered more kills for the Owls, drawing them back within three at 19-16. Gettysburg managed to re-extend their lead to 23-16, but the Owls won back-to-back points on a kill from Burnett on a great feed by Jane Rand and a service ace from Ogoshi. However, Gettysburg would shut down the comeback effort, winning the next two points to claim the set 25-18.
In the final set, Bryn Mawr put up an even more efficient performance and tallied their most kills of the night. After falling behind 7-3, Newall slammed home a kill on a great set by Nicole Wood. She would repeat that sequence just a few points later, and then Burnett copied on another set from Wood to make it a 9-7 game in favor of the Bullets. Gettysburg never gave up their lead in that opening stretch, but the Owls kept hanging around and staying close, and that paid off in the middle of the set. A service error from the visitors sparked a 4-0 run for Bryn Mawr, thanks to a couple more errors from the Bullets and a big ace by Nicole Wood. That gave the Owls their first lead of the set, and things stayed close over the next several points. After a kill from the Bullets tied things back up, Penelope Newall answered with a kill of her own to give Bryn Mawr back the lead. Gettysburg rallied with a four-point run to re-take the advantage, but Bryn Mawr continued to battle. A kill from Jess DeJoie made it 19-17 Gettysburg, and later a Bullets service error kept Bryn Mawr just two points behind the visitors. However, it was just a little too late for the Owls, as Gettysburg ultimately won five of the last six points to win the set 25-19 and claim the 3-0 win of the match.
Despite the loss, it was certainly a performance to be proud of, especially the way the Owls battled back from the tough first set. They will look to build upon tonight's effort when they get back in action next week. Bryn Mawr will return to the Class of 1958 Gymnasium to close out this three-match homestand, and they will do so by taking on Muhlenberg. Match time against the Mules is slated for 7:00 PM on Wednesday night.