Raider Volleyball Season Comes To An End

The Raider volleyball team closed out its 2004 season in disappointing fashion, as Holy Cross and Army swept the Raiders on consecutive nights last weekend. The Raiders finished with a record of 5-19 overall, 2-12 in league play.Both matches were closely contested, but Holy Cross won 30-26, 30-25 and 30-27, while Army pulled its match out, 30-28, 30-24, and 30-28.Several players had excellent individual achievements to cap off their seasons. Senior libero Natalie Rawson had 13 digs against Holy Cross and 19 against Army, including 10 in the first game. She finished with a season total of 445, breaking her own school record of 440 digs set last season, and completed her collegiate career in third place on the school’s all-time digs list with 1,098. This week, Rawson was named to the all-Patriot League second team.Junior tri-captain Allie Nichols praised Rawson’s contributions to the team. “She has a competitive attitude that is contagious on our team,” Nichols said. “If she thinks you can do better, she’ll tell you. Not only is she athletic, she also thinks like a great athlete, because she can read other teams and know what they’re going to do before they do it. That allows her to be incredibly tenacious and quick.”Nichols herself had a big weekend. In the match against Holy Cross, she recorded seven kills, 24 assists, eight digs, three aces and four blocks, two of them solo. A night later, she had her second triple-double in her last five matches, getting 10 kills on 28 attempts, 27 assists and 15 digs.Senior tri-captain Laurel Oliver concluded her career in style, recording a match-high 15 kills to go along with six digs and three block assists against Holy Cross, and then killing 16 chances in her final match.Colgate’s frist-years also showed signs of a brighter future this weekend, as Erin Kanetzke had six kills and 13 digs against Holy Cross, while Nicole Notrica had seven assists, three aces and three digs. Notrica had another strong match against Army, getting five assists, two aces and five digs. Sheila Giovannini posted eight kills on 21 attempts in the Army match, to go along with four digs.It was amazing the Raiders finished the season, considering that the team went through the year with only eight players on the roster, often playing opponents with up to twice as many players. Injuries, notably a stress fracture which sidelined sophomore Marybeth Maziarz for much of the Patriot League schedule, played a critical role. “We had girls playing through injuries and on their sickest days,” Nichols said. “People were playing out of position a lot but I think we adjusted reasonably well to it. This was the most resilient team I’ve ever been on, but we had to be in order to keep competing.Nichols also said that the keys to improving on this season and building the team up to a level where it contend for a place in the Patriot League Tournament and possibly the NCAA Tournament, are very clear. “First, we need to get healthy, because we can’t overcome a lot of setbacks to win consistently if we only have six or seven players available,” Nichols said. We also need to go back to fundamentals this winter and spring, and to just playing volleyball like we know we can.” “Once we establish that solid base for a team, I know we can show everyone how good we can be.”