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Recharged Women's Volleyball Program Looks to Build Off Early Success

The Boston College women’s volleyball team, off to a 10-2 start, has taken a giant step forward this season. After going 7-23 in 2017, the Eagles reloaded with a new coaching staff and have hit the ground running so far this year.

First-year Head Coach Jason Kennedy has masterfully led the Eagles to this point. Kennedy, who previously coached at USC, has experienced a seamless transition to the Heights, turning the program around much quicker than most originally expected.

The Eagles got off to an exceptional 9-0 start this season. They’ve travelled to Arizona and New Hampshire for invitational events, and have gone 3-0 in both tournaments. Though their winning streak came to an end during the New England Challenge this week, the Eagles have already surpassed last year’s win total—and they have yet to start conference play.

BC’s first loss of the season came just this week on the road against Harvard in the first game of the New England Challenge. The Eagles fell to the Crimson in five sets. In that game, BC was led by junior Cat Balido, who posted 17 kills and 13 digs.

The Eagles bounced back on Friday when they returned home to defeat UMass Lowell in four sets. After dropping the first set, BC took control of the match and won three sets in a row to snag a decisive victory. With the win, BC remains undefeated at home so far this year.

On Saturday, the Eagles travelled into Boston to take on Northeastern in the final game of the New England Challenge. The Huskies took care of BC, taking the game in four sets. BC was led by senior McKenna Goss, who had 17 kills.

Despite going 1-2 in their three games this week, the Eagles will look to ride the momentum from their hot start as they head into ACC play. Saturday’s game against Northeastern marked the final non-conference matchup of the year. Coach Kennedy will look to prove that his team’s success can be sustained through a full slate of conference games.

Although it is tough to determine just how much of the turnaround can be attributed to the new coaching staff, it does seem like Kennedy is largely responsible for reinvigorating the volleyball program. Last season, former coach Chris Campbell resigned from the team, and a national search for a new head coach began. The search committee was immediately impressed with Kennedy, and both parties were excited to create a winning program culture for BC volleyball.

Kennedy was clear about his long term goals for the Eagles from the beginning—to reach the NCAA tournament. While that may not be a realistic goal for this year, the Eagles look to carve the path to becoming a winning program. As for this season, only time will tell if BC can continue its winning through their ACC schedule.

Next up for the Eagles is a home game this Friday at 7:00 p.m. against Clemson. BC returns to Power Gym and will look to remain undefeated at home while also starting its ACC schedule off with a win.

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