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Owls drop two to Tigers, Thunder to end season

GREENCASTLE, Ind. — The Kenyon College volleyball team closed out its 2023 campaign with a pair of matches in Greencastle, Indiana, taking on hosting DePauw University and Trine University. The Tigers and Thunder came out on top over the Owls, who fell 3-0 and 3-1 in the contests.

Kenyon’s first match of the day was a North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) clash against the league-leading DePauw University Tigers, who finished the season with an unblemished 7-0 mark against conference foes to clinch the NCAC Championship. The matchup’s second set was close at 25-22, but the Tigers won sets one and three by double digits to clinch the three-set sweep.

Kenyon faced significant deficits early in the first two sets, looking up at a 17-4 margin in set one and a 21-6 deficit in set two. However, the Owls battled back in the second frame, winning 15 of the following 17 points, including a 9-0 run, to pull within two at 23-21. Set three was closer early on as Kenyon trailed by just one at 12-11, but a 13-4 DePauw finish clinched the match.

DePauw hit .483 in a 25-13 set-one win and .344 in a 25-15 third-set victory, outhitting Kenyon .307 to .128 overall. First-year Olivia Gumz led the Owls with 7.5 points and six kills. Sophomore Maggie Wolf secured seven points with four kills and a team-leading three aces while also dishing out a team-high 13 assists. Defensively, Lauren Blakemore led Kenyon with eight digs.

The Owls had little time to regroup, toeing the line against the Trine Thunder right after tangling with the Tigers. Trine took the first two sets 25-22 and 25-17 before Kenyon flipped the script and kept the match alive with a 25-17 third-set win, but the Thunder closed the door on any comeback hopes with a 25-10 victory in set four.

Neither team excelled offensively, as Trine hit .123 to Kenyon’s .035. The Thunder were bolstered by a 10-5 advantage in service aces and a 9-3 edge in blocks that helped hold down the Owls. 

Aura Barinas (11), Lindsey Abramson (8), and Sophia Menke (7) led the Owls in kills, with Barinas’ total standing as the match’s high-water mark. Wolf notched her fifth double-double of the season with a match-high 26 assists and a team-leading 13 digs. Abramson (12) and Hannah Schwemm (10) also posted double-digit dig totals.

Kenyon ends the 2023 season with a 4-20 overall record and a 1-6 mark against NCAC foes.

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