Volleyball Splits Against Patriot League Foes

 

 

Gillian Scherz

Colgate women’s volleyball split another weekend in Patriot League play at Cotterell Court. Friday night was a tough loss to Army, but the Raiders bounced back to beat Holy Cross on Saturday.

With the Patriot League Tournament approaching ever closer, the Colgate Raiders and Army Black Knights fought a tough three-set battle. Army, now in second place in the Patriot League, let Colgate take the lead in the first two sets and then came back to win both sets and the third.

“We didn’t have our best effort versus Army Friday night, which is always disappointing. All week we battled sickness and a lot of the players are in the midst of exams and papers, but that is still no reason not to play hard,” Head Coach Ryan Baker said. “We had our chances in both games one and two, yet we couldn’t capitalize.”

The Raiders did out-dig the opposing team, with a team total of 36 over Army’s 34. Leading the Colgate defense were sophomores Devon Applegate and Logan Keala, and junior Meghan Fanta, who also had the team-high in assists for the evening with 18. At the net, senior captain Katrina Zawojski led the team with 12 kills. Unfortunately, at the end of the night, the Raiders walked out of the gym with a 24-26, 23-25 and 20-25 loss.

“The team definitely left Friday’s match against Army with feelings of disappointment but we have to look at the bigger picture, and that bigger picture is clinching a spot in the PL tourney. We are still on track for meeting our season goals and will be re-energized to play Lafayette and Lehigh this coming weekend,” Zawojski said.

On Saturday afternoon the Raiders dominated in the match against Holy Cross. Colgate attacked the match early in each of the three sets, leading each from the beginning and bringing home the win: 25-20, 25-18 and 25-11.

The Raiders posted exceptional hitting percentages, starting off with .308 and .345 in the first two sets and then a whopping match-high .522 in the third. Leading the Colgate offense was sophomore Casey Ritt with 10 kills, followed closely by Zawojski with nine. A significant team effort helped the Raiders tally up a total of 42 kills on the night, and the duo of Fanta and first-year Blaire Safir chipped in 21 and 11 assists, respectively. Leading the defense were Keala and senior captain Jackie Adlam.

“It was great to see everyone contribute. We served tough all night, which limited their offense. Now the focus is this week,” Coach Baker said. “The entire season comes down to these two weeks.”

The weekend will be a critical one for the Raiders, as they face Lafayette and Lehigh at home. The Friday night match against Lafayette is slated to begin at 5:30 p.m. Saturday’s match starts at 4 p.m. and is Senior Recognition night.

“We need to win one match this week to qualify for the Patriot League tournament. It’s been our goal from the beginning of the year and it is very attainable. If we get one win we will face Army in the semifinals…I guarantee the effort will be there that night,” Coach Baker said.