Eagles Defeat Wake Forest, Fall to Duke Over the Weekend

Boston College volleyball

Boston College sophomore McKenna Goss’s serve was too much to handle, escaping the reach of diving Demon Deacons and allowing the Eagles to claim victory in the first set. Surrounded by cheering teammates, Goss rejoiced in their comeback win, having closed Wake Forest’s five-point lead with a six-point run and winning the set.

Although the Demon Deacons entered all three sets putting points on the board early, they could not build a lasting offense for the majority of the match and when they could, BC responded with more. The Eagles (7-21, 4-14 Atlantic Coast) defeated them in just three sets, making for a great celebration on their Senior Day.

After a three-point win in the first set, BC continued to push through the second. The match was competitive in the beginning with Wake (12-18, 4-14) taking the lead early, showing potential for a redemptive second set. The Eagles would not stand for this, as they quickly found their footing and began to take control. When the Deacons collected the ball off a serve and tried to spike it over the net, BC sophomore Sophia West would not allow it. She jumped and slammed the ball right back to over the net to the ground. From this point on, the Eagles’ offense shined.

With several more points from West as well as senior Sol Calvete, BC won the second set with a comfortable ten-point lead. This victory resulted from the combination of a thriving BC offense and an failing Wake defense. The Eagles’ collective 31 percent hitting rate out-did Wake’s 21 percent mark, and BC’s five services aces and five blocks could not be compared to Wake’s five reception errors and 11 attack errors.

The Eagles again carried this success into the next set, although it was undoubtedly a much more challenging endeavor. The Deacons started to build a stronger offense, finding success through senior Kylie Long and sophomore Caitlyn Della leading their team in points. Towards the end of the set, Wake managed to close BC’s five-point lead to just two points, resulting in a timeout called by Wake head coach Bill Ferguson.

While the momentum seemed to be shifting to the Deacons with a potential comeback, the Eagles reasserted their dominance. Points from West, freshman Amaka Chukwujekwu, and Calvete enabled BC to regain its lead for the third set in a row. The Eagles ultimately won the set by five points, ending it with a ruthless spike that the Deacons could not stop.

Just two days earlier, BC faced Duke (6-21, 9-8) and fell three sets to one. Although the Eagles failed to come out with the victory, they showed promise in their offense. With West earning her season high hitting record of 0.625 and graduate Lynn Braakhuis leading the squad with 11 kills, BC performed well but was unable to take down the Blue Devils.

Duke came out of the gate strong, winning the first set with an easy 10-point lead. Despite this early loss, the Eagles took advantage of a 7-1 lead in the second set to fight their way back into the game. They again could not defeat the Blue Devils, but held the second match to just a five-point loss.

BC’s efforts finally paid off in the third set, claiming the match with a seven-point victory, but the Eagles could not translate their success to the fourth and final set. Duke again opened with a strong offense, earning themselves a 7-0 run which BC could not overcome.

Despite their loss to Duke, the Eagles recovered and gave a great showing against Wake on their senior day, winning the game in just three sets. Calvete thought that Senior Day had an inspiring effect on her team.

“It was Senior Night tonight, and I think that helped a lot because there was a lot of motivation to just go for it and take the game,” she said.

Featured Image by Sam Zhai / Heights Staff