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Quakers spoil Owls home opener

GAMBIER, Ohio — The Kenyon College volleyball team welcomed fans to Tomsich Arena for the first time this season as the Owls matched up against the Wilmington College Quakers. Kenyon controlled most of the opening set, but the visitors rallied and rode their momentum to a 3-0 win.

Kenyon (2-7) opened the game with a strong first set on their home court. The Owls did not trail through the first 32 points, and they built a five-point edge at 12-7 with a 7-2 run. The Quakers (4-4) stayed close for the next few points, but Wilmington was forced to take a timeout after the Owls went up 18-14. 

From that point on, Wilmington won the night. The visitors compiled a 10-0 run that propelled them to a 25-19 set-one victory. The overall stretch extended to 18-1 as Wilmington scored the first seven points of set two, which they won 25-17.

Kenyon boosted its hitting percentage by increasing kills and decreasing errors in each of the three sets, but the Quakers did not let the Owls build much third-set momentum. A kill by Aura Barinas put the home team ahead 9-8 in the third set, but a 10-2 Wilmington run all but sealed the three-set sweep. The Owls made a comeback bid by winning four straight match points after being down 24-16, but the Quakers prevailed 25-20.

The Owls had an edge on the defensive side of the ball as Kenyon racked up five blocks to Wilmington’s two. Becca Gwynne and Maggie Wolf accounted for two blocks apiece, and the sophomores paced a pair of offensive categories for the Owls. Gwynne garnered a team-high eight kills on a team-best .583 hitting percentage, while Wolf’s 15 assists led Kenyon. Back on defense, Joy Carstanjen compiled a season-high 11 digs to lead the Owls.

Up next, Kenyon heads back on the road to play three games at the Hanover College Invite in Hanover, Indiana. The Owls will face Berea College (Ky.) at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, September 15, before taking on Sewanee and Anderson University (IN) on Saturday.

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