Cox's Corner

 

Volleyball Team Continues Strong Late-Season Push

BRIDGEWATER, Va. – The Bridgewater volleyball team continued its strong late-season push by winning two out of three matches at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Quad.

The quad featured a strong field with MIT, Western New England and Rivier. MIT entered the weekend with a 20-3 record, Western New England was 16-3 and Rivier was 14-6. The Eagles lost a tough match to MIT in three close sets, defeated Western New England in five sets and swept Rivier.

The Eagles have now won seven of their last eight matches to improve to 14-11 on the season with four ODAC contests left on the schedule.

“The teams we played up there were more physical than what we are used to seeing and that was a good challenge for us,” Bridgewater head coach Erin Albert said. “They completely shut down our outside hitters and that forced us to find different ways to score. It was definitely good competition and a good experience as we prepare for our final four ODAC matches.”

The Eagles are currently tied for second with Washington and Lee at 6-1 in the conference standings. BC still has ODAC matches left at Shenandoah, at Randolph and at Lynchburg before closing out the regular season with a home match against W&L.

The Bridgewater College men’s and women’s cross country teams turned in strong performances this past Saturday in their final competitions before the conference championships.

The women’s team finished fourth overall at the CNU meet this past Saturday with top runners Kaylee Kubisiak and Olivia Mills finishing 1-2.

“I feel pretty good about our women’s team,” head coach Brian Flynn said. “I think there’s still a lot left in the tank. That was just our second hard effort of the season. Our front runners (Kubisiak and Mills) are right where they need to be. Hopefully, they can continue to score low points at the ODAC meet to give us a nice head start on the rest of the field.”

Mills is the defending ODAC champion while Kubisiak has emerged as one of the favorites to challenge Mills for this year’s title.

In the team race, Bridgewater, W&L and Eastern Mennonite should vie for the championship.  W&L is ranked No. 4 in the latest South/Southeast Region poll with EMU No. 5 and the Eagles No. 6.

The men’s race is shaping up as a two-team race between the Eagles and conference favorite Lynchburg. Lynchburg is ranked No. 2 in the latest South/Southeast Region poll with Eagles checking in at No. 4.

The Eagles’ top five runners are ranked in the top 19 times in the conference this season at the 8K distance. The Hornets have their top five ranked within the Top 15 in the ODAC.

“It looks like we are going to match up solely with Lynchburg at the ODAC meet and I think that gives us a little better chance,” Flynn said. “This past weekend at CNU, Lynchburg’s No. 5 runner finished right behind our No. 3. We’re going to need everyone to step up at the conference meet.”

Individually, Bridgewater’s Luke Sohl will be one of the favorites along with Roanoke’s Tim Smith, the 2011 conference champion.

Something will have to give on the gridiron this Saturday as strength meets strength when the Eagles host Washington and Lee.

The Eagles enter the game ranked No. 24 in the nation in rushing defense, allowing just 92.8 yards per game on the ground. The defensive until will face their biggest task of the season as W&L brings the nation’s top rushing attack to Jopson Field. The Generals are averaging 383 yards per game on the ground and are led by the ODAC’s top rusher Luke Heinsohn who is averaging 124.8 yards per game.

W&L ranks No. 28 in the nation in scoring averaging 37.7 points per game while the Eagles ranks No 27 in the country in scoring defense, allowing just 14.8 points per contest.

The men’s soccer team looks to get back on track Wednesday when the Eagles host Roanoke College. BC, now 5-3 in the ODAC, has lost two straight in conference play and have been shut out in both losses. Roanoke offers another stiff challenge as the Maroons come to Bridgewater with a 5-2-1 conference record.

The women’s soccer team is coming off a 3-2 loss to fifth-ranked Virginia Wesleyan. The Eagles (6-3-1 in the ODAC) hit the road Wednesday for a key ODAC matchup at Randolph-Macon (7-2 in the ODAC). A win by the Eagles would put the team a step closer to hosting a first-round game in the ODAC tournament.

The field hockey team has lost its last two contests but the Eagles are still in good position to secure a good seed for the conference tournament. Freshman Taylor Prillaman is tied for third in the ODAC in goals scored with 10 while sophomore Caroline Augsburger is tied for fourth in assists with five.