Volleyball Triumphs in Two League Matches

Gillian Scherz

The Raiders had great success last weekend, as the team downed Lehigh and Lafayette on the road. The league wins were crucial for the team, as Colgate is now tied with Bucknell for third place in the Patriot League at 5-4.

“The team played very clean volleyball this weekend,” Head Coach Ryan Baker said. “We were sharp both physically and mentally.”

On Friday night Colgate volleyball faced off against Lehigh, taking the Mountain Hawks down quick and efficiently in three sets: 25-16, 25-16, 25-15.

“In our match versus Lehigh, we controlled the match with aggressive serving and solid defense. Our serves set up our blocks and defense the entire match. It was something we stressed all week in practice, so it was great to see the team execute the game plan,” Coach Baker said.

The volleyball team led the way on the scoreboard and in the books. Colgate tallied up a total of 39 team kills compared to Lehigh’s 26, and the Raiders also topped them in defensive digs. First-year middle blocker Kaylee Dougherty had an extraordinary weekend, leading the Lehigh game with 10 kills en route to being named the Patriot League Rookie of the Week. She was backed by senior Captain Katrina Zawojski with eight kills, and sophomores Casey Ritt and Logan Keala with seven each. Junior Meghan Fanta tossed up 33 assists, and senior captain Jackie Adlam had the team high in the backrow with a lucky number 13 digs.

Colgate’s intensity carried over into the Saturday match at Lafayette. The first set saw the Raiders come out strong. However, the team let up a little throughout and eventually lost the first set, 24-26. But the Raiders bounced back instantly, taking control of the second and third sets: 25-10 and 25-17. The Raiders forced the Leopards into a fourth and final set, where Colgate sealed the deal with a 25-23 win.

“Lafayette was a tough road win. Lafayette is always a very aggressive team at home, so it was a really good win, especially since Lafayette beat Bucknell the previous night. Their confidence was high but we were able to control them from our serve and middle attack,” Coach Baker said.

Zawojski led the offense with 18 kills, and Ritt and Dougherty had 12 and nine critical kills respectively. Fanta had the team high in assists with 41. Teamwork was key for defensive digs. Adlam contributed eight, Keala and sophomore Devon Applegate had seven apiece, Fanta brought up six attack attempts, Zawojski and junior Kelsea Loveless accrued 4 digs each and Dougherty contributed two of her own.

“Both Casey and Kaylee had strong matches,” Coach Baker said. “We were able to rely on them throughout the entire night.”

The past weekend was a stepping stone, but Colgate volleyball is looking ahead to its Halloween night match against Bucknell at Cotterell Court. The Raiders had a tough three-set loss to Bucknell earlier in the season, and the team is now ready for revenge.

“This week’s match versus Bucknell is really important because it will determine third place. I know the team is really looking forward to playing at home for the last three weekends of the season. We now have to make sure we defend our home court,” Coach Baker said.

The match is slated to begin at 6 p.m.