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Thrilling Third-Set Victory Hands Volleyball Senior Day Sweep over Swarthmore

Thrilling Third-Set Victory Hands Volleyball Senior Day Sweep over Swarthmore

HAVERFORD, Pa. - The Haverford College volleyball team (22-4, 9-1 CC) earned a Senior Day sweep over rival Swarthmore (13-7, 8-2 CC) on Saturday afternoon inside a packed Gooding '84 Arena. The Fords prevailed in one of the most exciting three-set matches possible, as the back-and-forth affair saw Haverford grab a 32-30 win in the marathon third set. The Fords clinched the No. 2 seed in the Centennial Conference tournament with the result, as Haverford and The Garnet will battle again on Saturday, November 6 at top-seeded Johns Hopkins. A start time is still to be determined. 

Prior to the start of the annual rivalry match, the Fords honored the Class of 2022, which included seniors Sara Hunsberger, Dina Kosyagin, Riley Outen, Isabel Schwam, and Elena Filograna. With a berth in the CC semifinals already assured for both teams, the game still had a flair for the dramatic with Hood Trophy points on the line as well as playoff seeding implications. 

Dina Kosyagin notched 21 kills, matching a Haverford program record for a three-set match, while Kendall Otridge (12) also tallied in double digits. Hunsberger had an impressive performance from the setter spot, with 47 assists and 11 digs. Juliet Young notched 25 digs while the blocking effort was paced largely by Jadyn Elliott as she tallied three total blocks on the afternoon. 

Haverford came out swinging in the first set, setting the tone for the day with a .240 hitting percentage and just five errors on 43 total swings. The Fords ran out to a 10-5 lead behind a block from Kosyagin and Elliott, and eventually found themselves up by that five point margin at 20-15, prompting Swarthmore timeout. After the stoppage, it was all Haverford down the stretch with Kosyagin and Otridge each looking strong from the outside ahead of Abby Holland ending the set with a kill at 25-18. 

The second set was a back-and-forth contest through the first 10 points, with Haverford gaining some separation with a run keyed by the front row prowess of Otridge and Holland. A solo block from Holland, her first of the season, prompted a Swarthmore timeout down four. From that point, the Fords found another gear going up by five points at 21-16 as Otridge spiked a kill. Swarthmore briefly got free from the grasp of the Haverford defensive pressure, notching a 3-0 run to pull to within three points. Haverford then tallied three of the final five points to pull away at 25-21.

In the third, Swarthmore looked to have the upper hand early, with a sustained run to open play at 11-5. The Fords immediately answered to cut that lead to just two at 12-10, but Swarthmore put together another spurt to go ahead 18-12. Filograna had a strong service turn, overseeing a 5-0 run to tie the score at 18-18 and both sides struggled to find separation as neither side had a lead larger than two from that point forward. Swarthmore had set point for the first time at 24-22, but Kosyagin found the floor to side out and an error by Swarthmore tied the score at 24-24. The two sides then traded points, with Kosyagin routinely pushing kills off the Swarthmore blockers, including in several do-or-die scenarios. She tallied four kills in the exhilarating extra points, earning match point for the final time at 31-30, and ending things for good with a service ace at 32-30. In total, Haverford outlasted Swarthmore in the marathon set behind a .381 hitting percentage. 

Kosyagin hit a match-best .429, matching Jelyn Meyer '04 with 21 kills against just three errors in just three sets. 

Haverford will now await the official announcement of times for the aforementioned semifinal contest with the Garnet, which will be determined during Monday's pre-championship conference calls. The Fords have reached the Centennial Conference semifinals for the first time since the 2017 season.