The Colgate volleyball team headed into the weekend looking to improve upon their 10-9 record, with games against Army West Point and Holy Cross. The Raiders did exactly that as they swept both games and boosted their record to 12-9.
The impressive play was not a surprise to head coach Ryan Baker. He shared his thoughts about where the team stands at the end of the weekend.
“We had a great week of practice that transitioned into our play,” Baker said. “The team hit a little bit of a lull after a long weekend of play a couple of weeks ago, but I feel we are back on the rise.”
A key improvement for the Raiders was their hitting efficiency. On Friday, against Army, the team hit a season-best .408; the next day, they continued the impressive effort and hit a new season-best .432. These staggering numbers were a major reason that the team managed to not drop a single set and were in control of both games.
Against Army, the Raiders went on a 15-6 run to close out the first set and never looked back. With some help from Army’s mistakes, Colgate was able to close out the second set 25-13. Then, they were able to close it out in the third set despite a comeback effort from Army that brought the set to within three points. Fortunately, the Raiders were able to capitalize on four errors on Army’s part to finish out the set and seal a victory. This was an important victory for the Colgate squad, as Army had taken them down 1-3 earlier in the season.
The Holy Cross match was much more comfortable for the Raiders, as they dominated both offensively at the net and defensively. The stats tell the whole story for the team; the Raiders hit for .432 compared to the Crusader’s .011 total, which factored into the Raiders tallying up 26 more kills than their Patriot League counterpart. These impressive statistics could not have happened without solid setting, which was led by junior setter Molly Smith with 17 assists and junior setter Lauren Sanderson with 12. Throughout the weekend, senior outside hitter Kathleen Harris was a spark for the Raiders as she forced the issue both offensively and defensively. Harris recorded 13 kills, eight digs and one solo block against Army, and backed that performance up with 11 kills and 12 digs against Holy Cross.
Coming up next, Colgate travels to Navy and then back up to Lehigh for long back-to-back weekends. Coach Baker was happy with the results from this weekend but knows there is more work to be done.
“We will have our hands full this weekend with two strong teams on the road. We need to have another strong week of improvement,” Baker said.
The Raiders’ next home game will be on Tuesday, November 1 against Bucknell University. The Raiders hope to continue their momentum from this past
weekend, with the Patriot League and NCAA tournament quickly approaching.