The Hopkins volleyball team traveled to Swarthmore, Pa. to play their conference rivals, the Swarthmore College Garnet. The Jays came into the match with a record of 9-0, looking to defend their undefeated record.
In the first set, the Garnet gained an early advantage by leading 8-4. This Swarthmore lead would be their largest of the set as Hopkins came firing back.
Following a service error from the Garnet, the Jays scored four straight to lock the score at 8-8. After a Garnet kill to make the score 9-8, the Jays put the set away by going on an 11-1 run.
Swarthmore made attempts at recovering from this Hopkins run, but the deficit was too much to overcome. The Jays would go on to score four straight points to win the set 25-12.
The second set proved to be a display of Hopkins dominance. Jumping out to an early 4-0, the Jays never looked back.
While the Garnet tried to fight back in the middle of the set, a 10-2 Hopkins run gave the Jays all the momentum to close out the set, winning 25-14.
With the Jays needing only one more set to win the match, the Garnet came out much like they did in the first set, taking an early lead. Up 11-9 in the middle of the set, the Garnet began to falter when the Jays sparked a 5-0 run to regain the advantage.
Following this point in the set, the Garnet were able to close the deficit two points, but the Jays finished the job and took the set 25-19.
In an interview with The News-Letter, senior outside hitter Elayna Williams explained the team’s mindset after falling into early holes in the first and third sets.
“Our team’s main focus going into the game was to make sure we were staying disciplined, especially with our serve receive and defense so that we could give ourselves the best opportunities to put the ball away,” she said. “At those points in Sets One and Three, we just had to remind ourselves of this goal and to continue to stay aggressive in our serving and swinging to keep Swarthmore out of system.”
Williams led the Jays in kills this game with seven, with grad student outside hitter Simone Bliss and senior middle Lauren Anthony recording five and four kills, respectively.
Freshman defensive specialist Evelyn Batista and senior setter Natalie Aston each served up two aces, leading the Jays in that category. Aston also led in blocks among all players, including Swarthmore, with four.
Beyond the box score, this win marks the tenth of the season, extending the Jays’ win streak to 45 matches. They have not dropped a match since the 2018 season.
Williams commented on what it has been like to be part of this group.
“It feels extremely special to be a part of this program that has had so much recent success. The team culture that’s been established with this group is pretty unique, and I believe our success on the court can be attributed to this. Going forward, we will continue to take the season one day at a time, focusing on the small things we can do to improve and continue growing together,” she said.
Looking to extend their streak, the Jays will return to action when they hit the road to play the Haverford College Fords on Oct. 2.