Bridgewater Volleyball Starts 2021 Season Against Salem College

Strong Start Powers Eagles to Victory

Volleyball game

Lynn Walsh

Senior Jessica Bissmeyer serving during a 2021 spring season match against Randolph Macon College. Bissmeyer helped the Eagles defensively with 15 digs on Friday night.

Erin Dietz, Staff Writer

Bridgewater, Va. – The Bridgewater College volleyball team started the 2021 campaign firing on all cylinders, winning in four sets over Salem College on Friday, Sep. 3. 

The match saw the return of fans to Nininger Hall for the first time since 2020, and the crowd was electric to see the Eagles open up the season. 

 “It was amazing to have all the fans back. When there were no fans we had to generate all the energy from the people on and off the court, so it was also weird to have the extra noise we did not have last year,” said junior Lisa O’Grady. 

The Eagles looked strong through the first set, jumping out to a 15 to seven lead and forcing Salem to call a timeout. 

Junior setter Grace Hayes had 11 assists in the opening set, helping teammates senior Hope Jennings and O’Grady to four kills each. Service from the Eagles looked strong as well, with sophomore Ashley Casey and junior Ann-Marie Johnson recording aces. BC won the first set 25-12. 

“It is very important for us to build momentum early in the game because it is so easy for the other team to take the momentum and go on a point run. Our coaches do a good job of putting us in uncomfortable scenarios in practice so we can get used to it in games,” said O’Grady. 

BC won the second set 25-19, continuing their strong start from the first set. Salem was forced to call a timeout down six to four, and the Eagles countered with five unanswered points.  

Solid hitting from the Eagles saw Salem take another timeout when they were down 20-13. The visiting Spirits made a late set push, however, the Eagles were able to hold them off for a two set lead. 

Salem College took the third set 25-21. The set was a tight affair, staying within a two point margin until Salem took a 20-17 lead forcing BC to call a timeout. Nine errors from the Eagles side saw them drop their only set of the night.

“It can be difficult to dig ourselves out of holes, but we have always been open to adversity as a team and do not back down when things start to look tough,” said O’Grady. 

Earlier hitting performances made a reappearance in the fourth set, which was completely dominated by the Eagles. The offense came out with energy, not allowing Salem to get into a rhythm. BC won the set 25-13 to end the game.

The Eagles offense was led by Jennings who had 13 kills in the match, followed closely by O’Grady with 11. Hayes ended the match with 35 assists.

On the defensive side, senior Jessica Bissmeyer had 15 digs, while Casey registered 11.  

Action continues for BC after the weekend as they take on Christopher Newport at home on Sept. 8 and travel to Lexington to participate in the Washington & Lee Invitational on Sept. 10 and 11. The Eagles will begin their conference campaign at home against Hollins on Saturday, Sept. 18.