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Volleyball Turns Away Arcadia to Split Tri-Match

Juliet Young
Juliet Young

HAVERFORD, Pa. - The Haverford College volleyball team (13-3, 2-1 CC) improved its overall record to 13-3 with a tri-match split on Saturday inside Gooding Arena. The Fords fell 3-0 to top-ranked Johns Hopkins (13-0, 3-0 CC) before storming back to down Arcadia (10-9) in four sets. 

#1 Johns Hopkins 3, Haverford 0 

Going toe-to-toe with the defending national champions, Haverford looked poised in the first set as the Fords withstood a barrage of Johns Hopkins hitters with strong defense and blocking. An emphatic block from Jadyn Elliott and Sara Hunsberger knotted the score at 20-20 as the hosts had designs on an upset after initially pulling ahead 19-18 thanks in part to strong play from Taylor Jones. Jones notched a service ace and then delivered a kill on the next play in a stretch that fired up the home crowd, breathing life into the Haverford bench. The visitors ultimately ended the set with Evelyn Batista at the service line, as her strong turn keyed the 25-20 victory.

The second set saw the visitors storm out to a 14-0 lead, a margin that was insurmountable despite a strong blocking effort from Abby Holland, Hunsberger, and Taylor Jones in the stanza. In the third, it was again Haverford with the early momentum, hanging with the Blue Jays, going point-for-point  and prompting a timeout from Adam Troy following a kill from Kendall Otridge that knotted the score at 12-12. 

The Fords briefly pulled ahead with Jones again keying that stretch with a kill and a block, but as was the case in the first set, a strong service turn, this time from Sarah Kahn, was the needed spark to ignite a 5-0 run that prompted Haverford timeout with the Fords down 19-15. Strong play down the stretch from setter Natalie Aston, a run that also included three blocks, put the match away for the undefeated Blue Jays. 

Juliet Young was integral for Haverford, posting 10 digs while Téa Kuzbari notched a pair of service aces. Hunsberger added 19 assists in the contest, while Taylor Jones was the leading blocker, assisting on four for the Fords. 

Haverford 3, Arcadia 1 

In the late afternoon match, the Fords found themselves up to the task against a scrappy Arcadia side that jetted out to a 1-0 lead behind a 27-25 triumph in the opening stanza. With much to prove against a team that has been evenly matched with the Fords in recent seasons, Haverford came out swinging in the second set, hitting .320 and committing just three attack errors, turning on the jets to cruise to a 25-13 win. The stanza including strong serving from Elena Filograna and Hunsberger, as Dina Kosyagin and Otridge also proved to be a force from the outside. 

In the third set, the story was similar as a strong hitting performance from the Fords helped turn an early deficit into a commanding 19-12 lead as consecutive attack errors forced by strong serving from Filograna, and a fantastic defensive turn from Young put the pressure on the Knights. Ultimately, an ace from Hunsberger set the stage for Isabel Schwam to finish the stanza with a service ace of her own ahead of an Otridge kill that ended the set at 25-15. 

The closeout fourth set saw Arcadia destined to make things interesting, taking an early 10-9 lead. Abby Holland and Otrdige found the floor for kills before Arcadia once again had an immediate answer, pulling to within one at 15-14. From that point, the Fords turned the offense to another level, with Otridge and Taylor Jones finding the floor in rhythm. One last gasp from the visitors saw Arcadia notch a 19-19 tie, but Kosyagin added four kills down the stretch, ahead of a block from Elliott and Holland that gave Haverford match point. Hunsberger then ended the match with a service ace, sending Haverford to celebration.

Kosyagin notched 17 kills, while Otridge added 13 of her own. Young was the anchor for the Fords in the matinee, with a career-best 33 digs. Hunsberger also added 10 digs to a 45-assist effort.  The meeting was Haverford's first with Arcadia since the 2018 campaign. Since the series was renewed in 2017, Haverford has captured two of the three meetings. 

The Fords will next return to conference play with a Wednesday night match inside Gooding Arena on October 6. Haverford welcomes in Franklin & Marshall for a 7 p.m. first serve.