LEXINGTON, Va. — First-year middle blocker Hannah O'Connor (Naperville, Ill./Naperville Central) tied a season-high with nine blocks and hit .400 on five kills on 10 attempts (one error) to lead the Washington and Lee volleyball team to a 3-0 victory over Mary Washington on Tuesday at the Duchossois Tennis Center.
The Generals (12-8) trailed late in the first set, 19-17, but following a timeout, the Blue and White tied the score (19-19) with a kill by senior outside hitter Meg Guignon (St. Louis, Mo./Visitation Academy) and an attack error by the Eagles (12-9).
The teams traded points over the next few rallies with the score eventually knotted at 24-24. W&L regained a one-point advantage on a kill by junior outside hitter Allison Webb (Thousand Oaks, Calif./Westlake), and then a kill by Guignon gave the Generals the set, 26-24.
The teams again could not find much separation at the beginning of the second with the score tied, 11-11, after a W&L attack error. The Blue and White then took control of the set and the match over the next 13 points.
The Generals went on an 11-2 run, highlighted by three kills by sophomore outside hitter Brynne Gould (Boone, N.C./Watauga) and two combined blocks from O'Connor and Webb, to grab a 22-13 advantage. UMW temporary stymied the rally with a kill by first-year middle blocker Alana Harris, but the damage was already done, as W&L claimed the set, 25-17.
The Blue and White kept its foot on the gas in the third, winning eight of the first nine points. Webb had two kills during the spurt, and O'Connor added three more blocks. The Generals stretched their lead to 21-9 in the set before winning the stanza, 25-16, and taking the match.
This marks the second time this year O'Connor has totaled nine blocks in a match, with the previous coming in a five-set win at Roanoke on October 1. The nine blocks are tied for the sixth-most in a single match in W&L history.
Webb paced the offense with 11 kills on 17 attempts with just one error for a .588 hitting percentage. Guignon finished the night with nine kills, seven digs, four blocks and five assists. Senior outside hitter Elly Cosgrove (Wilmington, N.C./John T. Hoggard) led the back row with 11 digs and added six assists. Junior setter Anna Soroka (Mechanicsville, Va./Lee-Davis) totaled 25 assists and five digs.
W&L held the Eagles to just a .045 hitting percentage. UMW had 31 kills on 110 attempts with 26 errors. Junior outside hitter Savannah Powers had 10 kills, while Harris added eight. Senior libero Ryan Cho notched a match-high 12 digs.
With the victory, head coach Bryan Snyder is just one away from the 500th in his tenure as head coach for Washington and Lee. Over his 19 years at W&L, he is 499-157 for a .761 winning percentage.
The Generals return to action on Thursday at Averett at 6:00 pm.
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