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Volleyball Sweeps Day One of the Route 42 Classic

taylor mcneely digs a ball

BRIDGEWATER, Va. – The Bridgewater College volleyball team opened the season with two wins on the opening day of the Route 42 Classic. The Eagles bested Wilson and Salem in straight sets.

Game One: Bridgewater 3, Wilson 0 (25-11, 25-11, 25-17)

The Eagles got off to a strong start in set one behind a service run from Hope Jennings that featured two kills from Rachel Gaston. With the score at 15-6, Gaston went on a six point service run. Bridgewater kept the momentum in their favor and finished out the match 25-11. Gaston smashed down all four of her kills in the first set.

Bridgewater continued where they left off in set two and took a commanding 17-8 lead after a slew of Wilson attack errors. Nadia Valle ended the set with a one of her three kills of the match.

The Phoenix kept the third set tight and held an 11-9 advantage before a Lindsay Olzawski kill shifted the set's momentum. The Eagles held Wilson to only six more points for a final 25-17 set and match win.

Jennings led the Eagles with six kills followed by freshman Sarah Kerns with five. Olzawski contributed four blocks while Taylor McNeely led the defense with 13 digs. Grace Hayes collected the first 26 assists of her career.

Game Two: Bridgewater 3, Salem 0 (25-19, 25-15, 25-15)

Bridgewater jumped out to a 7-2 lead to start the first set. The visitors got within two points of the Eagles at 14-12 but would not edge any closer. Kills from Hayes, Gaston and Emily Hanger closed out the first set for the Eagles.

The second set was a back-and-forth affair until the Eagles broke away on a McNeely service run. Salem could not earn back-to-back points for the rest of set as Hayes ended it on a setter dump.

Salem would not go down without a fight and stuck with the Eagles to make it 13-12 in the third set. Again, it was McNeely who provided the spark from the service line to pull ahead 17-13. Gaston had three more kills in the set to close out the Eagles 3-0 win.

Gaston led the home team with 15 kills and nine digs. Hanger boasted a .545 hitting percentage with six kills while Kerns hit a .778 for seven kills on nine attempts. McNeely picked up 13 digs and Hayes added 33 assists.

The Eagles resume the Route 42 Classic tomorrow with matches against Meredith and Catholic at 12:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.