Like a seesaw tottering back and forth on a playground, Boston College volleyball and Providence traded harsh blows during the first match of a doubleheader on Friday, especially in the final two sets.
Every single point after a 25–18 takedown of the Friars in set one proved to be must-watch action as the Eagles walked away with a 3–0 victory in the opener of a tournament co-hosted by BC and Harvard. The in-state tournament is set to take place across the weekend in Chestnut Hill and Cambridge.
BC head coach Jason Kennedy identified BC’s service play as a sturdy component of the Eagles’ game plan.
“I thought we stayed resilient from the service line,” Kennedy said. “We went after it pretty comfortably time and time again, and ultimately that was the difference.”
Despite the three-set victory, Kennedy said he thinks BC’s roster has more to prove. Providence (6–5) was just the first step in a tournament which Kennedy expects to win, he said, after coaching the Eagles (9–3) to their sixth straight win.
The set scores were 25–18, 27–25, and 25–23.
BC opened with a strong run behind timely front-to-back communication, winning three of the first four points to begin the contest. Both sides possessed momentum throughout most of the first set, with the Eagles maintaining a slight advantage but failing to significantly pull away.
BC took advantage of the challenge rule to reverse a point late in the first set, giving
it a 21–16 advantage rather than going down 20–17. The Eagles initiated another challenge just moments later to gain another point. BC finally pulled away at the end of the first set to win 25–18. What appeared to be a close set ultimately became the largest set win for the Eagles.
To begin the second set, the Friars jumped out to a quick 3–0 lead, but BC quickly regained
its footing and responded to take a 6–5 lead. The set remained largely competitive at 12–12 and 16–15. Then, it looked like the Eagles were going to pull away behind a few strong kills, but Providence cut the lead to 21–20 with a Macy Taylor kill, prompting a BC timeout.
The conclusion of the second set was a true thriller. After the Eagles took a 25–24 lead, Providence tied the set again due to a Halle Schroder attack error before BC regained the lead for the final time. The Eagles won the set 27–25 thanks to kills from Jenna Pollock and Schroder.
The third time wasn’t the charm for the Friars, who led at several points during the final set,
including late in the set. Once again, the set featured an alternating rhythm, with BC again winning by just two points—a fitting ending for the contest.
Senior outside hitter Alayna Crabtree led the way for the Eagles, recording 15 kills, four aces, and a block. Grace Penn, a senior setter, produced 23 assists.
“Blocking’s gotta be better, [it] left a lot to be desired here,” Kennedy said. “I think the offense held their own, and I think that was good, but I don’t think the blocking’s where we need it to be.”
Correction (9/17/23, 1:21 p.m.): This article previously stated that Boston College volleyball’s win over Providence marked its seventh straight win. It was corrected to state that this was BC’s sixth straight win.