Volleyball Spikes Crusaders

The Raider volleyball team split its first two Patriot League matches last weekend. Army swept Colgate in Friday’s opener, but the Raiders recovered to defeat Holy Cross in four games on Saturday.

Army, which improved to 11-2 on the season, dominated the first game, starting on a 17-3 run and eventually winning 30-11. The second game was much tighter, as the two teams fought to a stalemate over the first half of the game. But the Black Knights eventually went on a 9-1 run to pull away, ultimately winning 30-19. In the third game, the Raiders again battled to gain a foot in the match, but Army went on a run to seal the match, winning 30-20.

Sophomore Katrina Zawojski again led the Raiders in kills with eight. First-year Kelsea Loveless had six kills and 12 digs, while sophomore Jackie Adlam had 18 digs to lead the team’s defense. Army’s Elizabeth Lazzeri led all players in kills with 16.

“We weren’t mentally prepared for Army. It was a good wake up call that we must be at the top of our game in order to win in the Patriot League,” commented head coach Ryan Baker in an interview.

The match against Holy Cross, winless in league play this season, started off much like the previous match ended. The Raiders and Crusaders played a virtually even first game. Tied at 28, Holy Cross won the last two points to take the game 30-28. In the second game, Colgate went on a 7-0 run to turn a 15-9 lead into a comfortable 22-9 advantage. The Raiders cruised from there, winning 30-15. As a team, they had a hitting percentage of .417, compared to -.023 for Holy Cross. Colgate essentially replicated its second game performance over the third and fourth games, pulling ahead in the middle of the game and then squelching the Crusaders comeback attempts for 30-25 and 30-27 wins.

Zawojski led all players with 23 kills. Senior Marybeth Maziarz added 10 kills and had a hitting percentage of .368 in the match. First-year standout Meghan Fanta had 46 assists and 13 digs for her sixth double-double of the season. Adlam again stood out defensively with a match-best 27 digs.

Baker was much happier with the performance against the Crusaders. “A lot of players really improved their performance from the previous night,” he said. “Everyone wanted to take the lessons they learned to heart. Even though we lost the first game with some mistakes at the end, I knew that we had a great chance to win the match because the effort and attitude were both excellent.”

Colgate is now 8-6 overall, 1-1 in league play. This weekend, Colgate continues its long road trip, this time facing off against Lafayette on Friday night, followed by a Saturday afternoon match against Lehigh.

“Both teams are quite similar,” Coach Baker said. They will want to keep play going and try to make us beat ourselves with mistakes in the heat of long points. I’m confident that we won’t let it happen because I think our team is now settled into the mindset we need in order to win league matches, especially on the road.”