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Owls cannot control Comets at home 

GAMBIER, Ohio — In an exciting match that included many see-sawing sets, the Kenyon College Owls were defeated by the Capital University Comets (8-9) by a score of three sets to one at home. The Owls had many moments where they seemed in control, but they could not hold on against the relentless Comets squad.

After scoring the opening point on a big kill by Lindsey Abramson, Kenyon struggled to find early momentum in the first set, with the Comets scoring seven straight. After a timeout, the Owls recollected themselves and began to get into a grove. Using both power and finesse shots, the Owls fought back to bring the score to a 10-10 tie. A beautifully placed shot by Eras Yaeger broke through to give the Owls the lead, bringing the team’s energy up with it. Maya Sapsford helped key the run with three straight assists to get the game to 11-10.

Following a Capital timeout, the teams began to trade points back and forth, with both teams unable to pull away. The Owls finally found some breathing room with a short four-point run to bring the score to 19-14, highlighted by a massive block by Paige Milhon. That was all the space they needed as the Owls wrapped up the set 25-19. The Owls only had two more attacking chances than the Comets in the set, but Kenyon’s .125 hitting percentage was significantly higher than Capital’s .022 mark.

The Comets started the second set off strong, scoring the first four points. Kenyon clawed back to make the score 6-5, but Capital never let the Owls regain the lead. An 8-4 run gave the Comets a strong 14-9 lead. The Owls fought their way back into the set, bringing the score to 17-15, but the Comets once again extinguished the comeback attempt with an 8-2 run to take the set 25-17. Capital was more aggressive throughout the set, committing five more attack errors than Kenyon while registering seven more kills.

The third set began on relatively even terms, with the teams knotted at four points apiece to open things off. The Comets got hot, scoring eight unanswered points to go up 12-4. Capital continued to dominate, pushing the score to 20-10, but near the end of the set, the Owls fought back as the Comets made mistakes. Capital made nine attack errors from that point forward, allowing the Owls to sneak up and take a 23-22 lead. However, the Owls couldn’t hold onto their narrow lead, making two attack errors of their own as the Comets took the crucial third set 25-23 to go up 2-1 in the match. The Owls only recorded four kills for the set, a far cry from the Comets’ 13, which proved to be the difference in the set.

The Comets took the momentum they gained from winning the previous set to start things off strong in the fourth with a 4-0 opening run. However, the Owls retook the lead at 10-9 after some excellent shot-making, with Abramson and Macy Reimbold recording two kills apiece. However, the Owls could not hold onto the lead, succumbing to the pressure of the Capital attack as the Comets took off. A Capital sprint to the finish gave them the set 25-16 and sealed a 3-1 match win.

Reimbold led the Owls with nine kills, with Abramson and Kathryn McCaffrey each recording seven. McCaffrey also led the team with four blocks. Jac Cousineau had 13 assists to pace the Owls, while Sapsford chipped in nine. Elizabeth Sonza had a team-high 16 digs and also tallied the team’s best hitting percentage, finishing the match at .500 on two attacks.

The Owls (1-12) look to snap a seven-game skid when they begin North Coast Athletic Conference play in their next contest against DePauw University (7-7, 1-0 NCAC). The match is set for a 1 p.m. tipoff at home in Tomsich Arena on Saturday, Oct. 1.

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