The Marlins overpower the Eagles 3-1.

The Eagles fall short after multiple attempted comebacks against Virginia Wesleyan on Saturday night.


Bridgewater Eagles Athletics

First-year Sophia Stites concentrates on the ball during the Oct. 15 matchup against Virginia Wesleyan. Stites has an astonishing 49 assists on the year.

Gianni Maltese, Staff Writer

October 15, 2022

Bridgewater, VA- The Eagles volleyball team played Virginia Wesleyan University in a conference match on Oct.15, but they came up just short of a victory. 

BC came into the game from a victory against hometown foe Eastern Mennonite University on Oct. 11 in a thrilling contest. The momentum of this terrific game in Nininger Hall did not carry over after the team lost a 4-set nail-biter. 

First-years Faith Depew, Gabby Atwell, Kylie Robinson, sophomore Ashley Rutherford, senior Grace Hayes and first-year libero Sophia Stites made up the Eagles’ starting lineup for the first set of the match.

 “I thought that the game was a great match-up,” said senior Grace Hayes. “Both teams played great volleyball and at the end of the night we didn’t get the result we wanted, but we are not unhappy with our play at all. I definitely think there are big things ahead for this team.”

In the first set, the two teams were evenly matched, trading points for most of the match. After a block by Hayes and sophomore Rachael Meyers, BC eventually scored six straight points and upped the score to 19-13. Not to be outdone, the Marlins scored seven consecutive points to regain the lead 20-19. Bridgewater scored six of the final eight points to win the match 25-22 and grab a 1-0 lead.

Hayes led the team’s top assists with 33. Stites came in second with two assists and 21 digs. Meyers was in the lead, tied with Depew with nine kills. Senior Lisa O’Grady was third with six kills. 

The Eagles scored five of the opening six points of the second set to jump out to a quick 5-1 lead. Once again, the Marlins launched a comeback to level the second set at 14-14 after a lead of 11-4. 

The serve was returned to BC after a service error, but Virginia Wesleyan went on an 8-1 run to take the lead at 20-15. To tie the match at one set each, the Marlins easily won the following set, 25-19.

The Marlins started the third set with a 6-1 run, which changed the match’s momentum. The advantage ultimately diminished to 8-7, and the set was leveled at 11-11. 

The following three points were won by the visitors, but the Eagles remained competitive and managed to tie the set three more times at 17-17, 20-20 and 22-22 before VWU won the last three points to win the set and take a 2-1 advantage in the overall match.

In the night’s final set, Virginia Wesleyan jumped off to a 12-6 lead and increased it to 14-7 before the Eagles went on a run, scoring six of the next seven points to close the gap to 15-13. 

With four straight points in response, the Marlins regained a six-point lead at 19-13. Long rallies allowed the Eagles to score a few more points, but they ultimately lost the fourth set 25-17.

“There were many students there representing a variety of sports, and it was fantastic to see the community come together,” said Justin Scott, a sophomore spectator. “The Eagles suffered a defeat in an extremely close-fought contest.”

With only three ODAC conference games left, volleyball continues their season with a 14-8 record, ending the Eagles’ unbeaten ODAC streak. Despite their loss, Bc still holds third place in the ODAC standings with an 8-1 record in conference play.

“I feel like even though the team didn’t pull off a win tonight, we played in an extremely nice mental state and felt very controlled on the floor,” said Robinson. “We eagerly anticipate improving further over the upcoming season’s next stage.”

On Oct. 19, the Eagles will take on the Randolph College Wildcats in another ODAC thriller