The Colgate women’s volleyball team kicked off their first Patriot League matches with a double header against Lehigh and Bucknell. The Raiders faced the Lehigh Mountain Hawks on Friday, September 22 at 7 p.m. with a quick turnaround, playing the Bucknell Bison on Saturday, September 23 at 5 p.m. Although the Raiders put up a tough fight, they unfortunately fell to 0-2 in the Patriot League, moving their overall record to 9-5.
The Raiders’ first Patriot League set against the Mountain Hawks got off to a slightly rocky start, with the Raiders trailing 4-3. However, the Raiders used a 6-2 run to come back to a 9-6 lead. The Raiders continued to hold their lead until Lehigh used a 10-0 streak to win the set 25-20.
Colgate started the second set strong, with a 7-3 lead. Unfortunately, the Raiders were unable to hold onto the lead and the Mountain Hawks caught up, tying the game at 8-8. The Mountain Hawks pulled ahead and although fighting hard and coming close, the Raiders were unable to regain the lead. The second set ended with the same score of 25-20 Lehigh Mountain Hawks.
The final set was a close battle, with the Raiders being within three points of the Mountain Hawks until the very end. The Mountain Hawks capitalized on a 7-0 streak and finished the third set 25-17.
Although the 3-0 loss does not show it, the Raiders had some impressive showings against Lehigh. Junior outside hitter Katie Stansbury led the team with 13 digs, contributing to an overall 47 Colgate digs. Sophomore middle hitter Taylor Flaherty also tallied eight kills, ending the night with a strong .429 hitting percentage.
The Raiders entered into Saturday hoping to redeem themselves and leave Pennsylvania with a 1-1 Patriot League record. However, the Bisons had a different agenda. After a hard battle, the Raiders fell to the Bisons 3-1.
In the first set, Bucknell’s biggest lead was 19-14. First-year outside hitter Alli Lowe used back to back kills to pull the game to a close 21-20. Spikes from Lowe and junior middle blocker Amanda Smith tied the score at 23 and forced a Bison timeout. However, the Bisons pulled ahead in the final points to win the set 25-23.
The second set started with a strong 20-11 Bison lead. However, two aces from Stansbury and three kills from Lowe contributed to the Raiders’ 11-2 run to make the score 23-22. The Bisons once again did not let up and finished the set 25-23. The third set was a strong set for the Raiders. After a Bison timeout, the Raiders used a 6-0 run to take the lead with 20-14. Colgate polished off set three with a 25-20 victory. The Raiders appeared to be ready to send this match into a fifth set and go home with a win. Unfortunately, Bucknell used a 9-2 rally in the final set to win the match 3-1.
Although in a loss, Sanderson left Bucknell with a game highs of 37 assists and 10 digs. Colgate’s hit percentage improved from a .15 against Lehigh to a .25 against Bucknell. The Raiders matched the Bisons’ highest team digs and number of aces. Overall, the Raiders put up a good showing against the Bisons and we can predict a tough rematch October 20.
The Raiders return home to host their first Patriot League games on Cotterell Court. On Friday, September 29 at 6 p.m. against Navy and Saturday, September 30 at 4 p.m. against Loyola, the Raiders will put their best foot forward and hope to improve their Patriot League record to 2-2.
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