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Volleyball opens NCAC play with sweep of Kenyon

Sophie Tight  |  Photo by Jace Delgado
Sophie Tight | Photo by Jace Delgado

GRANVILLE, Ohio -- The Denison volleyball team kicked off North Coast Athletic Conference play with a 3-0 (25-18, 25-21, 27-25) victory over Kenyon on Saturday as part of Big Red Weekend. The win also extends DU's current winning streak to seven games.

After falling behind by four points, the Big Red engineered a 7-1 surge that turned their early deficit into a two-point edge (12-10). That burst forced the Ladies to call their first timeout of the set. The stoppage didn't slow down DU's momentum as the home squad continued to rack up points, eventually resulting in a 19-6 run that put Denison one point away from a set-one victory. Following three-straight points by Kenyon, Emma Woerner hammered down the final point of the opening set.

Denison never trailed in the second set, leading by as many as four on three different occasions. Big Red coach Carter Cassell called his first timeout after the Ladies shrunk the deficit to one at 22-21. The halt in action paid off when a Lucy Anderson block, a Sophie Tight kill and a Kenyon attacking error gave DU a 2-0 advantage in the match.

Facing another four-point deficit in the third set, Denison used a 6-2 run that was fueled by two aces (Sidney Gossard, Lucy Anderson), two kills by Woerner, a Carly Tenaglia finish and a Kenyon servicing error. The surge tied the set at 15-15 and forced Kenyon to call a timeout. Out of the stoppage, the Big Red went on a 5-1 burst that resulted in a 20-16 lead and another Ladies timeout. The back-and-forth battle continued as the Kenyon tied the match at 24-all. Following a Mackenzie Bruzzio kill, DU called their final timeout to discuss strategy. Lucy Anderson tied the match at 25-25 with a kill off an assist from Tight. Woerner put Denison back in front with a kill before a double block by Lucy Anderson and Tight brought the match to an end.

Woerner paced the DU offense with 18 points by way of 16 kills and two service aces. The junior finished the match with a .364 attacking percentage after committing just four miscues in 33 attempts. Lucy Anderson recorded seven kills, four aces and five total blocks (3 solo, 2 assist). Tight assisted on 29 of the team's 38 kills, while libero Jenna Corrao logged a game-high 22 digs.

With the win, Denison improves to 10-5 on the year and 1-0 in NCAC play, while the Kenyon falls to 3-10 and 1-1 in league play. The Big Red returns to the court on Wednesday (Oct. 2) when they travel to Greencastle, Ind. to take on the DePauw Tigers. Match time is slated for 7 p.m.