Volleyball Takes Pennsylvania By Storn

The Raiders’ victories at Lehigh and Lafayette last Friday and Saturday improved their conference record to 8-1, matching American University for a first-place tie in the Patriot League. But after returning to Central New York, the Raiders lost a tough non-conference match at Syracuse on Tuesday evening.

The Mountain Hawks won three consecutive points to begin game one and never trailed en route to winning, 30-25. In game two, the Raiders led by as many as eight at one point. Lehigh pulled to within three, but Colgate left the Mountain Hawks in the dust by winning game two, 30-25. After both teams went into the locker room for intermission, Colgate came out strong by grabbing an 18-13 lead. However, Lehigh erased the deficit with a 9-1 run to grab a three-point lead. However, the Raiders would not go down, winning five consecutive points and 11 of 13 overall to go up two games to one with a 30-24 game three win. The Mountain Hawks’ game three loss may have demoralized them, because the Raiders completely dominated the next game. The Raiders went on a 15-7 run to start game four en route to winning, 30-21 and the match, 3-1.

Junior Katrina Zawojski had 17 kills and 12 digs. First-year Casey Ritt matched Zawojski’s kill effort, while classmate and libero Jackie Adlam tied Zawojski for the team lead in digs. Ritt also contributed four block assists on defense. Senior Erin Kanetzke had 12 kills, six digs and three block assists.

Colgate needed five dramatic games to outlast the Leopards in Easton. After trailing for most of the first game, Lafayette finished with an 11-6 run to win, 30-28. The Raiders responded by eliminating any serious chance for a comeback in round two, winning 14 of the first 19 points en route to a 30-18 final. The next two games were nail-biters to the end, as both teams staged late rallies to tie the score, only to see the other team pull away. Lafeyette ultimately took game three, 30-27, while Colgate replied with a 30-26 fourth-game victory.

After splitting the first four games, Colgate and Lafayette needed to play a deciding game five, which is played up to 15 points instead of the usual 25. The Raiders started the rubber game with a 10-4 run. That was virtually all she wrote, as Colgate won the game 15-8.

Junior Katrina Zawojski had a spectacular match. She recorded 30 kills, 13 digs and six total blocks for her seventh double-double of the season. Her 30 kills were the second-most for any five-game match in school history. Colgate’s 83 total kills and 77 assists set new school records for a single match. Nearly all of those assists came from sophomore Meghan Fanta. She just missed Colgate’s record for assists by one, finishing with 70 against Lafayette.

“We didn’t play our absolute best match, but it says a lot about our drive and hard work that we still won,” Adlam said, who had 19 digs to spearhead the defensive effort. “All 16 players made this win,” she added.

First-year Casey Ritt had 15 kills, while senior Erin Kanetzke and junior Merryl Pohl each added 14. Additionally, each player made a variety of defensive contributions.

Three days later, the Raiders rolled into Syracuse for a matchup against its long-time regional rival. Syracuse had little trouble winning the first game, 30-22, and outlasted Colgate in a tough second game, 32-30. After trailing early in game three, Colgate went ahead by as many as five points and made just three attacking errors to win, 30-27. In the fourth game, the Raiders trailed 17-15 midway, but Syracuse pulled away for good to win, 30-23 and clinch the match.

Kanetzke led the Raider offense with 21 kills, setting a new career-high. Zawojski scored her third consecutive double-double with 15 kills and 11 digs in addition to a match-best three solo blocks. Fanta had 54 assists, nine digs and five kills, while Adlam had 17 digs.

Colgate returns home tomorrow night to resume conference play against Bucknell at 6 p.m.