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Volleyball Overpowers Gwynedd Mercy to Notch Tri-Match Split

Dina Kosyagin
Dina Kosyagin

GWYNEDD VALLEY, Pa. - The Haverford College volleyball team (18-4), split a tri-match at Gwynedd Mercy University on Saturday afternoon, falling to Marymount (Va.) in straight sets before returning in the nightcap and beating the host Griffins with a 3-0 sweep. 

Marymount (Va.) 3, Haverford 0

Marymount (11-9) took the neutral-site contest thanks in part to a strong hitting performance in the second set, as the Saints hit .375 in that stanza while limiting Haverford to a .111 clip with seven errors. 

Marymount got a strong start in the first set, charging out to a 6-1 advantage before the Fords rallied back to cut the lead to just two at 7-5. Another Marymount run saw the Saints open up a 14-10 lead, and the two teams largely traded points into the latter stages of the set. An attack error by Haverford handed Marymount a 21-18 lead, prompting a timeout, and despite Abby Holland and Kendall Otridge each notching kills down the stretch, Marymount used a kill from Myia Jeter to get set point, eventually taking the opening set on a Haverford service error at 25-23. 

In the second, the Fords had some early momentum as the score was tied 8-8 before a 9-1 run for Marymount. Again, Haverford battled back to cut the score to just a four point Marymount lead at 18-14, and a block from Sara Hunsberger and Taylor Jones trimmed the deficit down to three at 19-16. Kaitlyn Doyle provided two big swings to open up a four point Marymount lead at 22-18, and Doyle was again instrumental in keying a 3-1 stretch for the Saints to take the second set at 25-20. 

Doyle and the Saints continued that strong play into the third set, with an 8-1 stretch to prompt Haverford timeout right out of the gates, Playing from behind at that point, Haverford trimmed the advantage to just two following a Holland kill at 12-10, and the Fords pulled within one with a 3-0 spurt with Isabel Schwam at the service line. Marymount went back to work opening up a four point advantage at 19-15 to prompt another timeout from the Fords, and despite kills from Dina Kosyagin and Jadyn Elliott giving new life to the Haverford side, a big block from Myia Jeter and Elissa Munsterman gave the Saints set point. Undaunted, the Fords rattled off three consecutive points, with Kendall Otridge tallying two blocks and a kill in a heroic stretch. The comeback was stifled by a service error, allowing Marymount to escape with the sweep. 

Otridge and Kosygin each had stellar days yet again, with Kosyagin tallying 15 kills against just five errors. Otridge notched 14 kills and added a pair of blocks on back-to-back defensive stoppages for the Fords. Sara Hunsberger added 27 assists while Juliet Young (17 digs) and Schwam (11 digs) each tallied in double digits.

Haverford 3, Gwynedd Mercy 0

In the battle with the host Griffins (7-16), Haverford handled a nearly flawless opening set, making just three errors and hitting .394 in the stretch. The lead ballooned to 15-17 behind Kosyagin and Holland finding the floor, and consecutive service aces from Hunsberger put things all but out of reach at 17-7. Taylor Jones and Kosyagin found the floor in succession ahead of service aces from Elena Filograna and Mina Oates to give Haverford a 25-15 win.

The second saw the Fords jet out to a 14-5 lead, with Caroline Lucas and Gabrielle Fontanilla earning kills in that impressive stretch. Kosyagin and Otridge did much of the work from the outside down the stretch, while Taylor Jones contributed back-to-back Haverford points with kills to put the Fords up 22-12. Kosyagin found the floor for the final two points in a 25-13 victory.

In the closeout third set, the Fords again had all the momentum in the early goings, putting its foot on the gas to the tune of a 12-3 start. While the Griffins were searching for answers for the potent Haverford attack, the Fords were able to mix in some younger players before GMU finally got some momentum with consecutive blocks from Julianne Dove and Ashley Brown to trim the Haverford lead to just five. The Fords then rattled off a 6-3 spurt to regain a strong grasp on the match, with Kosyagin and Jadyn Elliott notching the final two kills for a 25-18 triumph.

In the late match, Kosyagin proved to be an overpowering force, hitting .500 with 18 kills against just three errors. Fontanilla and Hunsberger split time at setter, with Fontanilla grabbing 24 assists while Hunsberger added 15. Young notched 13 digs while three Fords tallied multiple service aces (Hunsberger, Schwam, Young). 

Haverford improved to 6-0 all-time against the Griffins, as the two sides were meeting in Gwynedd Valley for the first time since the 1982 season. The last meeting between the two squads prior to Saturday was a September 2010 matchup in a tri-match at Stockton. 

The Fords are now done with non-conference play for the regular season, as Haverford will return to the friendly confines of Gooding '84 Arena on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. first serve against Washington College. The contest serves as a prelude to next Saturday's trip to Gettysburg (1 p.m.).