JERSEY CITY, N.J. – The Owls volleyball squad faced off against some tough competition earlier Saturday at the 2021 Jersey City Invitational. Bryn Mawr battled against FDU-Florham and NJCU on the day, putting together impressive performances in each match despite coming away with a pair of 3-0 losses on the day.
Bryn Mawr opened the day by facing off against host NJCU. The Owls gave the Gothic Knights a strong challenge across three sets, but ultimately fell 3-0 (25-18, 25-19, 25-15). Nicole Wood led the way for the Owls with five kills in the contest, while Thandie Eversley helped lead a staunch Bryn Mawr defensive effort. The sophomore totaled 13 digs against the Gothic Knights, keeping the Owls alive in several points after digging some punishing NJCU attack attempts. Sydney Collins tallied 12 assists in the match, and Sydney Munnerlyn added two aces as well. Bryn Mawr had their best offensive output in the second set, posting nine kills in the frame against just three errors. The Gothic Knights, meanwhile, tallied 42 kills across the three-set match, led by 13 from Paolia Toledo.
In the second match of the day, Bryn Mawr took on the Devils of FDU-Florham, and despite the solid performance against NJCU, it was the Devils who had all the momentum early in the first set. FDU won the first four points of the set en route to an 8-3 lead in the early going. Zoe Boxill momentarily ended the run on a kill thanks to a nice feed from Sydney Collins. Then midway through the set, the Owls started chipping away even more. Collins notched a kill of her own on a great set by Thandie Eversley. Then, Aaliyah Joseph stuffed a Devils attack with a huge block. The Owls forced several more attack errors by FDU, and combined with a kill by Nicole Wood, Bryn Mawr had climbed back within four at 14-10. Unfortunately, FDU won seven of the next eight points to pull back away 21-11. Several more errors from the Devils momentarily allowed Bryn Mawr some momentum, but the Devils closed out the first set 25-14 thanks to three kills in the final four points.
FDU dominated the second set from virtually start to finish, ultimately claiming the frame by a 25-5 score. The Devils ran out to a quick 7-0 lead, stopped only by another kill from Wood. Orli McGuire-Beck notched the only other kill of the set for the Owls, as FDU outkilled Bryn Mawr 10-2 in the frame.
Bryn Mawr rebounded impressively from that disappointing second set though. Collins started the frame with an ace, and a kill from Wood and an error by the Devils gave Bryn Mawr an early 3-0 lead. Another kill from Wood and another FDU error then made it a four-point advantage for the Owls. After a couple of kills from the Devils, Bryn Mawr extended their lead once again thanks to some impressive defensive play and three more FDU errors. Later, a kill from Boxill made it a 9-6 advantage for Bryn Mawr midway through the set. From there, FDU went on a nice run to go up 10-9, but another bad set by the Devils knotted the set back up once more. The back-and-forth affair continued with FDU taking a 14-12 lead, but a nice rally from the Owls including an ace by Wood put Bryn Mawr back in front 15-14. Boxill tallied another kill a few points later, and then a Collins kill off of a set by Izzy Gerosa made it an 18-16 Owls lead. Bryn Mawr extended their lead even further thanks to another kill from Boxill, giving the Owls a 20-17 lead with the end in sight. However, FDU ran off a six-point run to jump back in front 23-20. Wood tried to help the Owls stage one more late comeback with two impressive kills on passes from Collins. However, FDU did just enough to survive the impressive Bryn Mawr performance, getting one last kill to escape with a 25-22 win in the frame to take a 3-0 (25-14, 25-5, 25-22) win in the match.
On the day, the Owls put together some very impressive performances. Perhaps highlighting the invitational for Bryn Mawr was the incredible defensive performance from Thandie Eversley. Facing a pair of high-powered attacks in NJCU and FDU-Florham, the sophomore defensive specialist seemingly made spectacular dig after spectacular dig throughout the day, several times diving or laying out to keep the ball alive for the Owls. Eversley ultimately finished with 12 digs against FDU. Wood closed the second match with seven kills, while Boxill added another four for the Owls.
Bryn Mawr will be back in action on Tuesday evening for a matchup at Bryn Athyn at 7:00 PM on the road. The Owls will then finally get their home-opener in on Thursday evening when they welcome St. Elizabeth to the Class of 1958 Gymnasium for a 7:00 PM matchup.