Colgate Volleyball Snaps Losing Skid: Team Serves Up A Win

Gillian Scherz

The Colgate volleyball team enjoyed a successful weekend at the Cornell Invitational beating Cornell 3-1, losing to Buffalo 0-3 and then defeating St. John’s 3-2.

Friday night kicked off Colgate’s participation in the Cornell Invitational with a match against the home team. The Raiders started off strong, winning games one and two with scores of 25-19 and 25-13, respectively. Cornell then stole the third set 26-24. It looked as though the Big Red would steal the fourth as well, but Colgate came back from five-point deficit late in the game to grab hold of the lead and end up taking the “W”.

Raider offense and defense were both particularly effective, with three players tallying double digits in kills and the same number in the defensive column. First-year Kaleigh Durket led the team in kills yet again this season with a total of 12 on the match, with the pair of sophomores, outside hitter Maureen Colligan and middle blocker Kaylee Dougherty, right behind her with 10 kills each. Dominating the back court was junior libero Devon Applegate with 24 defensive digs. Senior captain and setter Meghan Fanta and Durket also chalked up 10 digs apiece. Fanta had a solid 29 assists on the night. Blocking was another important factor in the match as junior middle blocker Casey Ritt earned a team-high eight blocks on the night, a new career high for Ritt.

The match against Buffalo on Friday did not go well, as the Raiders lost in three. While the team-high in kills was a mirror image for both Colgate and Buffalo at 13, and the Raiders also racked up more defensive digs, the match just did not come together for the ladies in maroon and white. Durket led Colgate with 13 kills, while junior outside hitter Logan Keala chipped in nine. Applegate and Durket together headed the team-high defensive digs with 10. Fanta also contributed 6 digs along with her 20 assists. The final scores were 19-25, 21-25 and 13-21.

Saturday evening saw an energetic and impressive rebound from the Raiders, ending the tournament the way it began, with a win. Colgate again registered three double-digit marks in both kills and defensive digs. The trio of Durket, Keala and Colligan conquered the net with 13, 12, and 11 kills respectively. Dougherty and Ritt also chipped in nine kills each. Defensively, Applegate covered the floor with 22 digs, while Durket added 13 and Keala 10. Fanta made the connection with 36 assists, and sophomore setter Blaire Safir also helped out with 15.

“Our serving and blocking were the difference makers this weekend,” Head Coach Ryan Baker said. “The team did a great job executing the game plan and showed some real fight at key times. Cornell and St. John’s are both quality programs with great size on the net. Our team really supported one another throughout the weekend. These wins were a result of players playing for one another.”

The Raiders begin Patriot League action tomorrow night at home, and also have a match against Army slated for Saturday on Cotterell Court.

“We couldn’t have timed these wins any better,” Coach Baker said. “It should give us great momentum heading into Patriot League play. Both Holy Cross and Army will be good opponents. We need to continue getting better with each practice. We are 0-0 again and must continue to find ways to win.”

Tomorrow’s match is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. and Saturday’s match at 4 p.m. The previous weeks of competitive tournament play should put the Raiders in position for some exciting league action this season.