V-Ballers Beat Bucknell, Bow Out to UB

Colgate’s volleyball team experienced some of the highest and lowest points of the season to date over the past two matches. The Raiders recorded an outstanding four-game victory at Bucknell last Friday night, which was Colgate’s first win in Lewisburg since 1999. Unfortunately, Colgate could not sustain the momentum following that win with a loss, 3-0 at home, against Binghamton last Tuesday that ended a six-match winning streak.

The Raiders found themselves down 11-7 in the first game of the Bucknell match. However, Colgate would not be denied, winning the next six points and 10 of 12 overall. The run included four aces from sophomore Kelsea Loveless. Bucknell fought back, but the Raiders held on to win 30-28. The Bison used a 10-5 run to pull away for good in game two and won by seven points, but Colgate broke through with dominating victories in the next two games, 30-24 and 30-19, respectively. Colgate took big leads early in both games and used strong two-way play to make the leads hold up.

Zawojski, who finished with a match-best 20 kills, showed her versatility by adding six digs and four total blocks on the defensive front. Classmate Merryl Pohl added 13 kills. Sophomore setter Meghan Fanta had 48 assists and seven digs, while junior libero Jackie Adlam accumulated a match-best 23 digs.

Colgate did not start off well against the Binghamton Bearcats. The Raiders won two of the first three points, but UB went on a 6-0 run to take command of the first game. They never led by less than two points again, winning 30-27. Game two largely duplicated the opener, as Binghamton led virtually from start to finish and won 30-25.

The Raiders came out of the locker room with a much sharper effort in the third game. Although Colgate trailed 16-10, they came all the way back to grab a one-point lead on two occasions. But with the match tied at 24, Binghamton went on a 6-3 run to take the game, 30-27 and the match, 3-0.

Zawojski, awarded the Patriot League Player of the Week on Monday, again led Colgate with 13 kills. First-year Devon Applegate, starting at libero in place of the injured Jackie Adlam, handled the pressure well with a career-high 13 digs. Classmate Sam Trauth helped Applegate on the defensive front by contributing 12 digs of her own. Binghamton’s team defense was a major factor in the outcome, as the Bearcats had 17.5 team blocks, while Colgate could only muster six.

Head Coach Ryan Baker was disappointed with the team’s performance, especially following a dominating victory.

“As well as we played against Bucknell, we did not have the right attitude and energy at all tonight,” he said. “Not having Jackie was big because of everything she can do, but it wasn’t just about that.”

Still, Baker believes that the loss might help the Raiders dig in and work hard in preparation for a trip to perennial league powerhouse American tomorrow. Colgate also travels to Navy on Saturday. The prospects look sunny for the Raiders in these two matches, as Jackie Adlam will most likely play in both matches.

“Sometimes, maybe a bitter loss like this isn’t the worst thing for the players,” he said.