Volleyball Earns Sweep on Senior Weekend

Gillian Scherz

The volleyball team swept its Senior Weekend against Lafayette and Lehigh, claiming two big Patriot League victories. These proved critical in Colgate’s placement at the Patriot League tournament. Three seems to be the lucky number for the Raiders this week, as they are now ranked third going into the tournament, and three Colgate players were named to all-Patriot League. The three being honored include senior captains Katrina Zawojski and Jackie Adlam, and also sophomore middle blocker Casey Ritt.

On Friday evening, fans at Cotterell Court saw Colgate volleyball bring home the “W” against the Lafayette Leopards in three striking sets with scores of 25-15, 25-17 and 25-17.

“We’ve been serving tough and each weekend it’s really starting to pay off, Head Coach Ryan Baker said.

Impressive statistics back up his statement, as the team scored five service aces in the Lafayette match, with only one service error. In the front row, Zawojski was leader of the pack with 14 kills. Right behind her was Ritt and first-year Kaylee Dougherty, each chipping in 10 kills. The offense was controlled by 34 solid assists from junior Meghan Fanta and 16 defensive digs in the back by Adlam.

Saturday was a very exciting day for the Colgate team. The afternoon battle versus Lehigh was the last home match for the three seniors, and the Raiders definitely made it a good one, taking down the Lehigh Mountain Hawks in three sets, again. Colgate came out on fire, winning the first set, 25-9, and then carried the intensity through to sets two and three, winning those 25-16 and 25-15.

“All weekend we played loose, confident, and focused, and anytime you have a combination of those three you are certain to have success,” Coach Baker said.

And the weekend was a great success not only in the record books but also in recognizing the three senior captains. Prior to the match, Katrina Zawojski, Jackie Adlam and Merryl Pohl were honored and congratulated for four great years as members of the Colgate volleyball team.

“Jackie is the heart and soul of our team. She embodies the competitive spirit you hope all athletes have. She has played such an integral role in the resurrection of this program. Her hard-nosed defense and never say die attitude has been infectious to everyone who has played beside her. She will be sorely missed by all,” Coach Baker said.

Adlam has had an extremely successful career in Colgate volleyball. Twice she has been named Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year, and she also holds the Colgate and Patriot League records for career digs at 1,965.

About Katrina, Coach Baker said the following, “My first time seeing Katrina play was at our summer camp right before the beginning of her freshman year. After watching her hit, I knew we would go from the bottom of the league to the top very quickly. As a coach, you have to love watching a player treat the game with such respect. She took each day as another opportunity to improve herself and her teammates. It was such a privilege to have coached her.”

Zawojski has been named all-Patriot League two years, has a career hitting percentage of .253 and very frequently holds the team-high in attacks.

“Merryl has not always received the recognition she has deserved, but she has had more of an impact than others know. Last year she was named to the all-tournament team. She single-handedly carried us into the championship match versus American. Merryl is the player who keeps the team relaxed which has been an important ingredient his season,” Coach Baker said.

Pohl has tallied up 530 kills in her Colgate career, along with 11 service aces and 124 defensive digs.

“It’s been a great season.” Pohl said. “We learned a lot, played a lot of hard teams, and we knew when we needed to win to get as far as we are. It just meant a lot to me to be a senior and call myself a part of this team for four years.”

The season is not over though, as the best is yet to come. Colgate travels to American for the Patriot League semifinal match against Army on Friday. If the Raiders win, they will play either American or Bucknell in the Finals on Saturday.