The past weekend proved rewarding for the Colgate women’s volleyball team as they crushed their opponents in back-to-back matches. Victory tasted even sweeter for the team considering it was the Raiders’ homecoming. Friday, September 30, the Raiders faced Navy in the first of their two homecoming matches and came out on top by a score of 3-1 and individual set scores of 25-23, 23-25, 25-20, 25-17. The first set began with the Raiders and Midshipmen battling evenly for the lead, however, the Raiders soon took over and fought through for the win 25-23 thanks to three kills from senior outside hitter Kathleen Harris, sophomore outside hitter Katie Stansbury and junior right side hitter/setter Lauren Sanderson.
The second set progressed much like the first, with the Raiders and Mids trading the lead. Stansbury and sophomore middle blocker Jaelah Hutchison each contributed three kills, working hard to try and overtake the Mids. Unfortunately, Navy powered ahead and managed to snag the second set out from under the Raiders.
The Raiders put their game faces on for the third set, never faltering and coming out on top with a set score of 25-20, after holding their largest lead at 13-7. Harris played her most impressive set yet, contributing five individual kills, while Hutchison and Stansbury each pitched in three respective kills.
The Raiders maintained their momentum in the fourth set and cruised by Navy 25-17. Harris tallied another seven kills while senior outside hitter Katie Stebbins pitched in five kills of her own, as both players helped secure the win for the Raiders.
On Saturday, the Raiders played their second match of homecoming weekend against Lehigh, channeling their energy from the previous day to annihilate the Mountain Hawks by a score of 3-0 with individual set scores of 26-24, 25-13, 25-11.
The first set began with the Mountain Hawks competing evenly with the Raiders, however they couldn’t quite keep up with the Raiders’ intensity and Colgate snagged the victory with three kills from Hutchison leading the way.
Harris helped to secure the second set for the Raiders with four kills while Hutchison contributed two service aces and Stansbury pitched in two more kills. Lehigh gained significant ground after coming out of a timeout, but it wasn’t enough to deter the Raiders from achieving victory.
The third set was essentially a formality with the Raiders, crushing Lehigh 25-11. Senior defensive specialist Madison McAndrews played an incredibly impressive set, with 11 serves and two service aces. First-year middle blocker/outside hitter Taylor Flaherty pitched in the last kill to solidify the Raiders win.
Reflecting on the match, head coach Ryan Baker commended his girls’ efforts.
“Lehigh was 4-0 in the league up to that point so that win says a lot about the team,” Baker said. “We were very focused before and during the match which allowed us to execute at a high level. Our serve and pass game were difference makers.”
The Raiders’ two wins were both Patriot League matches, moving the team Patriot League record to 3-1 and their overall record to 7-8. The Raiders will play their next match on Saturday, October 8 against American University. The victories from this past weekend should give the team ample confidence and momentum as they face another Patriot League rival on the road in