Women’s Volleyball Goes 1-1 On the Weekend

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Lexi Luthringer, Maroon-News Staff

This past weekend, the Colgate Raiders women’s volleyball team took on their first Patriot League opponents: the Holy Cross Crusaders and Army West Point Black Knights. The squad finished the weekend with a .500 record, falling to Holy Cross 1-3 during their first Patriot League contest, and dominating Army 3-0 in their Saturday contest.

During the first set of Patriot League play, the Raiders came out with a strong 4-0 lead and ultimately outscored the Holy Cross Crusaders 25-16, showing signs of a potentially lopsided match. In the second set of play, the Crusaders passed the Raiders with an early 3-1 lead. However, after two quick kills by Colgate’s junior, outside hitter, Alex Stein and senior, middle blocker, Jaleah Hutchison followed by an ace from sophomore, libero, Bridget Kolsky, the Raiders were able to secure a tight 5-3 lead.

The teams scored back and forth, changing leads until Holy Cross went on a three point run to lead the Raiders 13-10. The teams battled out the remainder of the second set, exchanging leads within two points multiple times. At the end of the second set, the Crusaders outscored the Raiders 25-23.

The third set against the Crusaders was also a tight one. Neither opponent had more than a two point lead until the Crusaders pulled away to lead the Raiders 10-7. Colgate quickly responded to their early setback, going on a four-point run to overtake the Crusaders 11- 10. As the third set winded down, Colgate maintained a 21-18 lead, until Holy Cross was able to come back with a 8-3 run to take the third set 26-24.

Despite two dropped sets that both went the distance, the Raiders were still in the fight. In the fourth set of play, the Crusaders were able to get out to an early 7-2 lead. The fourth frame proved just as intense as the previous three, with the teams exchanging leads back and forth. At the peak of the set, Colgate led 25-24 for match point. Realizing the urgency of dropping the set, Holy Cross kicked it into high gear and came back to win the set and match 27-25. With this somewhat disappointing outcome on Friday, the Raiders were able to rebound and use this narrow loss to fuel their dominant sweep against Army.

The Raiders entered the first set against Army with full energy and quickly secured an early 6-1 lead. Due to many early kills by Col- gate’s Stein, Hutchison, and sophomore outside hitter Alli Lowe the Raiders were able to maintain their lead until Army creeped ahead with a 10-12 lead. Colgate responded with urgency, going on a four point run that lead them to a 25-19 win in the first set of play against Army. The second set of the match followed a similar pattern of play, with the Raiders up early on with an 11-3 lead that would eventually stretch to a 25-12 win. The Raiders were able to finish any hopes Army had of getting themselves back in the game with a close 25-23 win during the third set of play. The Black Knights lead the Raiders 20-23 until the Raiders were able to go on a five point run to surpass the Black Knights 25-23 and end play for the day.

Both Lowe and freshman setter and outside hitter, Julia Kurowski had solid reasons for optimism with solid defense and goal-scoring performances at the net during the match against Army. For Kurowski, this was her third double double of the season. She also tallied 24 assists, 3 block assists and a career high of 13 digs during the contest. Lowe had her eighth double digit kill performance of the season, recording 11 kills against the Black Knights. Head Coach Ryan Baker mentions she was very proud of how the team answered back after their first Patriot League loss and that Army is one of their toughest competitors. The Raiders will continue Patriot League play next weekend where they will host the Lafayette Leopards on Friday and the Bucknell Bison on Saturday. The match next Saturday is named “Ella Strong” to benefit local 3-year-old Ella and Pediatric Cancer Awareness.

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