VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - The Bridgewater College volleyball team battled hard, but ultimately fell 3-1 to Virginia Wesleyan on Wednesday night.
Bridgewater started the match with a commanding 13-6 lead in the first set. The Marlins found a way back into the set and eventually tied it 22-22. After a Marlin attack error gave the ball back to the Eagles, Hope Jennings put down a commanding kill to make it 24-22. Virginia Wesleyan then answered with a kill of their own before Jennings ended it with one of her eight kills in the first set.
The start of the second set was the opposite of the first. Virginia Wesleyan jumped out to a 15-11 advantage leaving the Eagles to play catch-up. They would do just that thanks to a service run from Jennings and kills from Rachel Gaston and Emily Hanger to tie the game at 15-15. The teams traded points back and forth until Bridgewater had the 23-21 lead. Two Eagle errors made it 23-24 in favor of the Marlins. Hanger put down a kill to tie it again at 24-24, but the Marlins would score the next two points to take the set and even the match.
Although the Eagles had chances to win the final two sets, the Marlins would narrowly edge them out in both to take the 3-1 win.
Jennings and Gaston each had 16 kills for Bridgewater, followed by Hanger and Madison Haynes with eight a piece. Jennings' 16 kills is a career high for the sophomore. Gaston also contributed 26 digs for a double-double. Taylor McNeely collected 23 digs and two aces. Grace Hayes dished out 48 assists to go with eight digs.
This is the Eagles first ODAC loss of the season, bringing their conference record to 7-1 and overall record to 19-3. The team returns to action on Friday, October 18 as they take on Guilford College at Randolph College. Game time is 7:30 p.m.