GAMBIER — For the fourth straight season, the Kenyon College volleyball team will participate in the North Coast Athletic Conference tournament. The Ladies went 15-11 during the 2018 regular season and their 4-4 conference record produced a No. 4 seed in the upcoming eight-team tournament.
The tournament, which will play out over two days at top-seeded Wittenberg University, will begin Friday afternoon. No. 5-seeded Ohio Wesleyan University will take on No. 8 seed Oberlin College in a 3 p.m. match. The winner of that match will advance to play Kenyon at 7 p.m. Friday. Should the Ladies win that second-round match, they’ll advance to play Wittenberg Saturday at 11 a.m.
During the regular season, Kenyon went on the road to defeat Oberlin 3-1. Five days after that match, the Ladies rang up a 3-2 home victory over Ohio Wesleyan. In the last week of the regular season, the Ladies went to Wittenberg and dropped a 3-0 match to the Tigers, ranked, at the time, as the No. 3 team in the nation.
Kenyon has had recent postseason success, racking up a combined 5-3 record over the course of its last three tournament appearances. One season ago, the Ladies entered tournament play as the No. 5-seeded team. They defeated Oberlin 3-0 in first-round action and then fell, 3-1, to Denison University in the second round.
This season’s Kenyon attack is powered by senior Delaney Swanson and junior Mackenzie Bruzzio. Swanson has swatted a team-high 356 kills and her current career total of 1,210 kills ranks third all-time in program history. Bruzzio has followed up with 271 kills, the second-best total on the team. The two make significant contributions on the back row, where Swanson has piled up 302 digs and Bruzzio has recorded 263.
Freshman libero Katie Howard leads Kenyon with 386 digs and sophomore Meghan Cason has served up a team-leading 956 assists. Juniors Haley Witschey and Maleah Miller, as well as sophomore Elyse Davidson, add reinforcements up front. Witschey has notched 229 kills and 33 blocks, Miller has accumulated 131 kills and 45 blocks and Davidson has 138 kills to go along with a team-best 67 blocks.
As a team, Kenyon attacks at a .225 rate, the third-best hitting percentage in the conference and, currently, the third-best single-season team mark in the Kenyon record book.