Raiders Falter At Colgate Classic

It was a disappointing week for the Raider volleyball team, as it dropped all three of its matches in the Colgate Classic, including one that could easily have gone the other way. The losses send the team into Patriot League play on a down note, as the women are now 3-7, having lost five consecutive matches since going over .500 for the first time in head coach Jenna Panatier’s tenure.The Raiders began the tournament with a loss to Princeton in four games. The Raiders won a close first game 30-27, but Princeton dominated the next three, winning 30-17, 30-19, and 30-17, respectively. Princeton helped its cause by dominating two key statistics: the Tigers committed only 16 errors to Colgate’s 38 and had 12 service aces against six service errors, while the Raiders had only one ace and eight errors.Several Raiders did have strong matches against Princeton. First-year Sheila Giovannini had a career-high 20 kills on 47 attempts, while class mate Erin Kanetzke had 10 kills and 13 digs, her first career double-double. Junior Allie Nichols had 38 assists, six kills and eight digs, while senior Laurel Oliver had 17 kills. Class mate Natalie Rawson recorded 39 digs, one short of the school-record that she set against Canisius the previous weekend.The following day was especially difficult, as Colgate was swept in both matches; however, every game was decided by no more than five points, 30-25, 30-28 and 30-25. Oliver had a career-high .444 hitting percentage on 15 kills in 27 attempts. Nichols had 23 assists, while Rawson and junior Meghaan Walsh had 17 and 12 digs, respectively. The final game might have been the most disappointing. Colgate held a six-point lead in the first game and an eight point lead in the second game, but St. John’s came back to pull out both games, 31-29 and 30-28, respectively. The Red Storm, who won the tournament with a perfect 3-0 record, closed out the match with a 30-27 win in the final game. Giovannini led the Raiders with a .400 hitting percentage, while Kanetzke continued her rapid progression with a career-best 10 kills on 23 attempts. Rawson, named to the all-Tournament team for the second weekend in a row, had 14 digs, leaving her just 20 digs away from eighth place. The most telling statistic from the game was the total aces, as St. John’s had 15 aces in total, compared to just two for the Raiders.Compounding the losses on the court is the news that sophomore Marybeth Maziarz will likely be out for at least six weeks after a bone scan confirmed a severe stress fracture of her foot. The injury leaves the Raiders with only seven players on their roster- six of which must be on the court at one time.This week, Patriot League play begins with the final game of a seven game home stand, as Bucknell visitis Hamilton tomorrow at 5 pm. The two teams split last season’s series, with both teams winning in four games on their home courts. That game is followed by a swing through eastern Pennsylvania on October 1-2 as the Raiders travel to Lehigh and Lafayette.