Ever since losing to six-time league champion American University in three hard-fought games last month, the volleyball team has played matches with one eye on this upcoming weekend. After playing fourth-place Navy tomorrow night, whom the Raiders rallied from 2-0 down to beat in Annapolis earlier this season, Colgate hosts fellow first-place foe American on Saturday. Both teams enter the weekend with 9-1 conference records, and the winner will most likely win the regular-season crown. That team would host the Patriot League tournament on November 16th and 17th.
“Both teams will come in with a lot to lose, so we will be expecting them to be very aggressive and prepared for the matches,” sophomore Meghan Fanta said in an e-mail. “It’s more exciting to play in these types of matches; they are what you play the game for.”
Colgate’s final tune-up for this crucial weekend was successful, as they defeated Bucknell, 3-1 at Cotterell Court last Friday. The Bison won the first game, 32-30 after fighting off a game point, but Colgate won the next three games, 30-21, 30-25 and 30-18.
The first game was very close, with Bucknell leading throughout most of the game. Colgate rallied all the way back to take the lead, 30-29, but Bucknell took three straight points to win the game. The Bison rallied from an early 8-3 deficit to tie the second game at 12, and it appeared this game would follow the same pattern as the first. However, Colgate immediately regained the lead and held it from there, aided by 19 kills and just three errors.
After intermission, the Raiders broke through quickly in game three, pulling away from the Bison with a 12-6 run to erase another early tie. In the clinching game, Colgate won six of the first seven points and finished with a 14-8 run to win the game and the match.
Junior Katrina Zawojski scored a match-high 19 kills. Senior Erin Kanetzke and first-year Casey Ritt helped the offensive cause by adding 12 kills. Sophomore Kelsea Loveless had a double-double with 11 kills and 10 digs. Junior libero Jackie Adlam had 25 digs, giving her the second-most career digs in Patriot League history with 1,500. Adlam needs 89 digs to break the conference record and she has a great chance to do so with Colgate having at least five matches left on the ledger this season.
Colgate’s match with Navy is at 7:30 p.m. on Friday. The Raiders’ conference-deciding match with American is at 4 p.m. on Saturday. Both matches will take place at Cotterell Court.