Women’s volleyball falls in four sets to Swarthmore College

The Shorewomen drop three conference matches to leave then 1-4-1 in conference play and making post-season hard to reach 

By Austin Allen 

Elm Staff Writer 

Visiting team Swarthmore took on host Washington College on Wednesday, Oct. 23 at Cain Gymnasium in an intense Centennial Conference match up. The Shorewomen fought hard and competed all night as they looked to take down the Garnets. 

Swarthmore’s Sierra Tyson tallied a triple-double with 11 kills and match highs of 26 assists and 20 digs in a 3-1 (25-20, 25-16, 24-26, 25-20) victory on the Shorewomen. Swarthmore improved to 13-10 overall and 4-3 in the Centennial, while the Shorewomen dropped to 7-17 and 1-7 respectively.

The first set started out extremely intense as both teams were going back and forth for the first couple of possessions. 

The score was 7-5 when freshmen Courtney Maxwell made two kills in a row to give the Shorewomen an early 9-5 lead. Maxwell had a career high with 16 kills to set a personal best. 

Maxwell said, “I just wanted to help contribute for my team in any way possible. What I could do in order for us to compete, that’s what I’m going to always do.” 

Later during the set, both teams were showing grit and determination as the match began to pick up and get more competitive. 

Junior Isabella Sansanelli closed the gap to 16-17 on an ace that gave the Shorewomen some momentum. 

The first set came down to the Shorewomen tied up with Swarthmore 17-17. 

The Garnet did not look back as they won eight of the last 11 points to win the first set by five. Emma Morgan-Burnett of the Garnets put Swarthmore ahead for the rest of the first on a kill and a bad set by the Shorewomen.

The second set showed to be a dominating performance for the Garnets, who came out on fire and with poise. The set started out with three straight digs from Swarthmore’s opponent Sierra Tyson. Tyson, who led all players with 20 digs for the day, had a strong performance during each set. 

The score was 6-3, Garnet leading, when Senior Cassie Kowalski narrowed the gap with two spikes to bring the score to 6-5. 

Kowalski said, “This was a time where we all just had to come together, and I had to bring my senior leadership to the team. It was all about using each other to stay confident and staying focus on the game.” 

Maxwell chipped in two more kills before the Garnet took over and went on a quick run that was too deep for the Shorewomen to come back. 

Mehra den Braven, senior, contributed to the run by making four straight kills to put the Garnet up by more. To stop the run, sophomore Jensyn Hartzell made two key assists to help keep the Shorewomen in the game. 

Hartzell, a key contributor for the Shorewomen, said, “No matter what we all knew that we had to remain focus and not give up. I think that we all came together like we usually do to make sure our confidence is always high and to make sure we keep a positive attitude like Coach Jaime preaches at all times.” 

Swarthmore never trailed in the second set. The Garnet led by as many as 10 points in the nine-point win over the Shorewomen. 

A last finisher by junior Alyssa Nathan ended the second set with the Garnet up 2-0 for the match.

Into the third set, the Shorewomen did exactly what Hartzell said, and remained confident. 

During the third set, there was a lot of back and forth, and the crowd began to get into it as well. There were a lot of cheering students, and a bunch of cheering parents rooting for both the Shorewomen and the Garnet. 

The set started off with a quick lead for the Shorewomen as they went up 4-0 on the Garnet that was led by three straight assists from sophomore Lauren Zedlar. 

Zedlar, who finished the contest with a total of 19 assists, said, “Any way I can help my team get the win, I’m going to do exactly just that. We understood how important this match it was and we knew we had to get this victory and take it set by set.” 

All tied up at 17-17, another assist by Zedlar put the Shorewomen up 18-17. 

The Garnet then went on a 7-0 run to reclaim the lead 24-18. The Shorewomen did not give up, as they went on a quick run themselves to knot the score at 24-24. 

All tied at 24-24, the Shorewomen won the final two points to extend the contest. Jenna Daunoras, a sophomore, made it 25-24 on a kill and an attack error by the Garnet clinched the third set for WC. 

Junior Abby Smith said, “sticking to what we know and remaining focused on the goal is definitely what got us through this set.”

In the fourth set, the Shorewomen jumped out to a quick 15-7 lead following a kill by senior leader Cassie Kowalski. 

This lead was imperative for the Shorewomen as they looked to close out another set to try and force another set after. 

However, the Garnets quickly answered back with their own run. The Garnet rallied with an 18-5 run to close the set and win the match in four. Tyson, a freshman, put the Garnet up ahead for the first time in the fourth at 20-19 on a kill. This was Tyson’s tenth kill and marked a triple-double for Tyson as well.

Maxwell was named the Goose Nation TV Shorewomen Player of the Match during the broadcast, while Sansanelli tallied a total of four aces for the second straight match, and Abby Smith tallied 13 digs.

Up next, the Shorewomen will host visiting Ursinus Bears on Oct. 30 right here in Cain Gymnasium at 7p.m. for a Centennial Conference match up.

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