Volleyball Works Hard In Defeat

Volleyball Works Hard In Defeat

Paul Kasabian

Former Oakland Athletics owner Charlie O. Finley once said that sweat plus sacrifice equals success. Although Colgate sweated through three matches in two days and sacrificed their bodies as they dove and somersaulted all over Cotterell Court, sweat plus sacrifice did not equal success for the Raiders as they lost all three of their matches in the Colgate Invitational. The Raiders fell to Canisius, Siena, and Princeton, the eventual champions of the two day round robin tournament.

Although Princeton was the best team at the Colgate Invitational, the Raiders played their best match against the Tigers last Friday. Colgate fought hard but lost a close battle, 3-2. Colgate and Princeton were tied at nine in the fifth game, but Princeton’s Parker Henritze recorded a kill to put the Tigers up by one. Princeton would never look back and won the last game 15-10. Henritze had a match high 24 kills and also helped on the defensive end by getting 16 digs. For the home team, sophomore Katrina Zawojski, an all-Patriot League second team selection last year, had 17 kills and 8 digs. First-year Kelsea Loveless had a double-double for the Raiders, getting 13 kills and 15 digs. Colgate looked vastly improved from last year’s match versus Princeton when they lost 3-0.

“We stayed disciplined on defense and our offense had all cylinders moving,” Coach Ryan Baker said. “We’re still not satisfied with the loss.”

Unfortunately, the Princeton game would be the apex of the Invitational for Colgate. The Raiders played against the Canisius Golden Griffins the following day. Colgate started the first game on a 10-3 run en route to a convincing 30-23 victory. Momentum was on the Raiders side at the beginning of the second game, but Canisius took a 20-14 lead and had control of the serve late in the match. Led by Zawojski and Adlam, the Raiders then went on a 13-7 run to tie the game at 27. Canisius then bore down, took back the serve, and scored the last three points of the match. With momentum now on their side, the Golden Griffins won the last two games with relative ease. Colgate’s miscommunication, faulty back row passing, and a change in tempo turned out to be the reasons for their downfall against Canisius.

“We started playing their tempo, which is slower and more lethargic than ours,” Coach Baker said. “We got caught into that mindset.”

Sophomore libero Jackie Adlam had 24 digs and Zawojski recorded 20 kills and 10 digs in the Canisius match. Loveless also contributed her second double-double of the Invitational with 13 kills and 12 digs. Another first-year, setter Meg Fanta, had five kills and 47 assists.

Although the Raiders had just lost a hard-fought and exhausting match to Canisius, the team was given 45 minutes to change uniforms and regroup so they could play their final match of the Colgate Invitational against the Siena Saints. Once again, Colgate came out strong and won the first game of the Siena match, 30-25. Regrettably, the Raiders could not contain Siena outside hitter Nadiege Honore, who recorded 24 kills and 24 digs. The Saints played at their tempo and won the match 25-30, 30-19, 30-24, 30-24.

The Raiders had some standout individual efforts against the Saints. Jackie Adlam left everything on Cotterell Court en route to having a match-high 25 digs. Zawojski had 18 kills and a .405 hitting percentage. Junior Erin Kanetzke led the team with five blocks. Loveless and Fanta continued to show great poise and athleticism as rookies. Loveless was one dig shy of a double-double and Fanta had 37 assists and 13 digs.

Colgate had many great individual performances over the weekend, but Jackie Adlam’s exploits stood out in particular. Adlam, who averaged 21.3 digs per game during the Colgate Invitational, was the lone Colgate Raider on the all-tournament team.

“Jackie is a hard-nosed defensive player who never believes the ball is allowed to touch the floor,” Coach Baker said. “Her work ethic and heart is contagious.”

Adlam’s hustle stands out whenever she is on the court, but all of the Colgate Raiders should be proud of their never-say-die attitude. Their cumulative effort and determination are attributes they will carry with them as they play their Patriot League rivals in the coming months.

“I think it’s a team thing we can take from this weekend,” co-captain and lone senior Marybeth Maziarz said.

Colgate’s sweat and sacrifice has already paid off in Ryan Baker’s first year as the Raiders’ head coach. The team has won four matches, which is more than half of last year’s win total, but the Raiders still need to improve on some facets of their game.

“Communication needs to get better,” Maziarz said. “When we have really big plays, we just have to keep our momentum going.”

Although the Colgate Invitational was not a successful set of matches on the surface, sweat plus sacrifice will eventually lead to success for the Raiders.

Colgate will play in the Providence Tournament this weekend before traveling to West Point for their Patriot League opener against Army on September 22.