Women’s Volleyball Drop Match to Saints 3-1

Despite their several comeback attempts, the Lady Eagles fell short in their loss this Tuesday evening.

Gianni Maltese, Staff Writer

 Bridgewater, Va.- On Sept. 13, the Eagles volleyball team competed against Marymount University in a non-conference match, however, they were defeated after a tough matchup.

BC entered the game fresh off victories over Brevard and Meredith, both of which took place on Sept. 10 in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Eagles won a total of six out of seven sets in those encounters, giving the impression that they carried the momentum from that contest.

First-year Faith Depew, seniors Lauren Nofsinger, Lisa O’Grady, Kylie Robinson, second-year Ashley Rutherford and libero Sophia Stites made up the Eagles’ starting lineup for the first set of the match. The opening set had a rocky start and was misleading in terms of how it turned out for the Eagles to begin this matchup.

“Overall, tonight was a terrific learning experience for us. Marymount was a strong team, in my opinion, but we made mistakes early in sets that made it difficult to make up ground after we gained momentum later in the game,” said Anderson, “I believe going ahead, we need to concentrate on our side and try to clear up as many unforced errors as possible.”

When the Eagles went on a run, the Saints’ early 5-2 lead was reduced to 7-6. Following three points from Marymount, BC answered with seven of the next nine points to draw the game at 12-12 thanks to a serve ace from Sophomore Grace Williams. 

The Eagles finally took the lead after consecutive Saints’ errors, and they increased their lead to 17-15 after Sophomore Madeline Walker killed it with an overpass that sank in. For the remainder of the set, neither team had a clear lead until BC went on a 5-1 run that was capped off by a kill from Sophomore Rachael Meyers, giving them a 25-23 victory.

With 22 assists, senior Grace Hayes lead the team. Sophomore Rutherford was second with 17 points. Senior O’Grady is in first place with 14 kills, followed by Kylie Robinson with ten, Meyers with seven and senior Nofsinger with five, all of which included some extremely well-timed kills.

Marymount got out to a strong start in the second set, winning eight of the first ten points to take an early 8-2 lead. Despite numerous rallies and an incredible Eagles comeback, the Saints maintained their lead throughout the match before winning it 25-19 to tie the series at one set apiece.

Analogous to the second set, Marymount controlled the tempo of play in the third set, taking a 14-6 lead following an eight-point run. Up until the Eagles rallied for four straight points of their own to narrow the deficit to 19-14, the two teams traded scores. With a 25-20 set victory, the Saints took a 2-1 match lead.

Early in the set, the Saints scored seven straight points to take a 9-5 lead, forcing a Bridgewater timeout. After a Rutherford kill, the Crimson and Gold came back to trail 19-16, but Marymount scored six of the final seven points to take the set and the match.

“I was very impressed by the camaraderie and passion displayed by the volleyball team throughout the game, and it was genuinely motivating for my own athletic aspirations,” said Sophomore Ashley Dodd, who was an active spectator all game long. “The second set was very intense and hard fought by both teams, intensifying the whole gym of Nininger here at Bridgewater College.”

The women’s volleyball team has had an intriguing start, despite the Eagles’ 5-4-0 record being a slight improvement over their Fall 2021 season, where they were 4-5-0 this time last year. On Thursday, Sept.15 at 7 p.m., Bridgewater will visit Roanoke to take them on.

“I think we didn’t play to our standard tonight. We are taking this as a huge learning curve and looking forward to Thursday’s game,” said senior Nofsinger.