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Owls Win Streak Snapped in Thrilling Matchup at Immaculata

Zoe Boxill

IMMACULATA, Pa. - The Bryn Mawr volleyball team looked to keep their winning ways going on Tuesday night as they traveled to Immaculata for another non-conference contest early in the 2021 season. The Owls hoped to build on their four-match win streak coming into the night, but in the end it was the Mighty Macs who held on to win in a five-set thriller. Zoe Boxill led all scorers on the night with 15 kills while Nicole Wood added another 14 for Bryn Mawr. Five different Owls posted double-digit digs, led by Thandie Eversley, and Sydney Collins posted 34 assists on the night. Immaculata got 12 kills from Ava Thorley as the hosts prevailed in the marathon match 3-2 (25-21, 17-25, 22-25, 25-19, 15-8).

Immaculata jumped out to a small lead early on in the first set, but the Owls tied things at five thanks to a kill from Orli McGuire-Beck and back-to-back aces by Thandie Eversley. The score remained tight most of the way through the set as both sides traded punches. The Owls held several small leads at times, including at 15-14 thanks to a three-point run off of Immaculata errors. However, with the score now tied at 17-17, the hosts would win seven of the next eight points to get to set point. Bryn Mawr would battle back with three straight points of their own, but a final attack error closed out the frame 25-21 in favor of the Mighty Macs.

The second set proved to be a different story for Bryn Mawr. This time, it was the Owls who got out to an early lead, using several errors from the hosts and a pair of kills by Zoe Boxill to take a 6-2 lead. Immaculata would come all the way back to tie the set at eight, but Bryn Mawr would win seven of the next eight points thanks to more errors, a pair of kills from current Centennial Conference Player of the Week Nicole Wood, and an ace by Sydney Collins. That stretch gave the visitors a six-point advantage that would stay roughly the same through the rest of the set. Immaculata never got any closer than four points from the Owls, and Bryn Mawr closed things out with three straight Mighty Macs errors and another kill from Wood to win the second set 25-17.

The Owls got off to a hot start in the third frame as well, as two more kills from Boxill and another ace by Eversley helped the visitors to a 9-3 lead. Immaculata would battle back midway through the set, tying things back up at 15-15, and the back-and-forth donnybrook would continue from there. The two teams traded points until the score made it to 20-20. Immaculata won the ensuing point, but Boxill slammed home kills on two of the next three plays to give Bryn Mawr a 23-21 lead. An Immaculata timeout momentarily stopped the bleeding for the hosts, but Boxill nailed one more kill and an error from the Mighty Macs gave Bryn Mawr a 25-22 win of the set and a 2-1 advantage in the match.

The tight play continued into the fourth set, as neither side really pulled away from the other until late in the frame. Wood, Boxill, and Joseph all tallied kills in the early moments of the set, helping Bryn Mawr take a 6-3 lead. A solid run from the Mighty Macs flipped that into a 13-9 advantage for the home team, but the Owls kept things close with a run of their own. Wood and Boxill tallied back-to-back kills before an ace by Wood brought Bryn Mawr back within one. An Immaculata timeout couldn't slow down the Owls' run, as an error and another kill by Boxill gave Bryn Mawr a 14-13 lead. The two teams swapped points after that, but then a seven-point run gave the Mighty Macs a big 21-15 advantage. Bryn Mawr worked hard to get back into the set, using an error, an ace by Izzy Gerosa, and kills by Boxill and Sydney Munnerlyn to draw within two. However, Immaculata would win the next four points to claim the set 25-19 and force a fifth and decisive set.

That final frame got off to a slow start for the Owls, as despite a kill from Wood and an error from Immaculata, the hosts got off to a 4-2 lead. Bryn Mawr battled back to tie things up, winning the next two points on an error and a kill from Sydney Collins. However, Immaculata won the next four points to take a commanding 8-4 lead. The Owls and head coach Hayley Kirby used a timeout to try and slow down the Mighty Macs' attack, and that plan worked initially as Munnerlyn notched another kill for Bryn Mawr to get the Owls back within three. Immaculata won the next three points though, bumping their lead out to 11-5. Wood found a gap in the Mighty Macs defense to get another kill next to her name, and the Owls got a couple more errors from the hosts as well. However, it would not be enough, as the Mighty Macs won three of the final four points to claim the fifth set 15-8 and take the 3-2 win of the match.

With the loss, the Owls drop to 4-4 on the season and end their current win streak at four matches. They'll look to start another streak on Friday when they return home to take on Penn State Abington in the Class of 1958 Gymnasium. Gametime in Bryn Mawr on Friday is set for 6:30 PM.