The Raiders dominated in their regular season finale against the Lafayette Leopards, sweeping the opposition by a final score of 3-0 and individual set scores of 25-16, 25-16 and 25-12. The Raiders finished their season with a record of 17-10 and a Patriot League record of 13-3, the most impressive for the team in both since 2013.
The first set began with the Raiders and Lafayette neck-and-neck, but a 6-0 service run by senior outside hitter Kathleen Harris put the Raiders safely in the lead, where they stayed for the remainder of the set. Sophomore outside hitter Katie Stansbury recorded an impressive five kills for the set, while senior defensive specialist Madison McAndrews and sophomore middle blocker Jaelah Hutchison each contributed three and two kills, respectively.
Harris set the tone for the second set early on with three kills to put the Raiders ahead 6-2. The Leopards would get within two points before the Raiders pushed ahead, with two kills from senior right side/outside hitter Katie Stebbins, a 3-0 service run by junior setter Molly Smith and one kill and one block by first-year setter Hannah Cannon, ending with a final score of 26-16.
The third set started with a 5-0 run, led by Stansbury and with kills recorded by Stansbury, Harris and Hutchison. Lafayette attempted to take the early lead back from Colgate, but failed due to impressive performances by many of the Raiders, notably McAndrews and her impressive service game during the match. Smith contributed a service ace and junior middle blocker Noel Kennebeck put an additional kill on the board for the Raiders to win the third
Hutchison led the Raiders offensively, tallying 10 kills, while Harris and Stansbury both contributed nine kills respectively. Smith contributed 19 assists, while McAndrews contributed 12 digs, a testament to the powerhouse the Raiders have become. With this Colgate victory, Lafayette drops to 4-21 and 2-13 in Patriot League matches to end the season.
McAndrews feels that the team’s strength and momentum will help them in the upcoming tournament.
“I think heading into the Patriot League tournament with 13 wins is a sign. The team is really ready to go,” McAndrews said.
Harris is also eager to see what the team can bring to the table in the tournament. As the Raiders await their next match, they are training just as much to prepare.
“It was a great way to close out Patriot League play against Lafayette. It was a total team effort and a great road win. We’re using this week to get ready for the tournament, as we have to play relaxed and disciplined in order to be successful,” Harris said.
After being seeded second in the Patriot League last weekend, the Raiders await finding out who their opponent is for next weekend’s tournament in Washington, D.C.