Volleyball Gets Spot in PL Tournament: Raiders Sit Fourth in League Standings

Senior captain Jackie Macy  was energized after the Raiders’  3-0 decisive victory over Navy, securing the team a slot in the Patriot League. 

Senior captain Jackie Macy  was energized after the Raiders’  3-0 decisive victory over Navy, securing the team a slot in the Patriot League. 

The volleyball team clinched a spot in the 2015 Patriot League Tournament this weekend with a win over Navy on Saturday, despite losing to

Lehigh on Friday. 

After this past weekend’s play, the Raiders hold an overall 10-13 record, and are 8-4 in Patriot League play. They will be joined by American, Army and Lehigh at the four-team League championship tournament.

In their first set against Lehigh at Cotterell Court on Friday, the Raiders took an early 4-1 lead. They pushed its advantage to 7-4 before the Mountain Hawks tied the score at seven. Colgate answered and kept their advantage with the score at 10-8, but Lehigh countered with an 8-0 run to take a 16-10 lead before securing the 25-18 win. 

In a close second set with 13 ties and five lead changes in the second set, junior outside hitter Kathleen Harris posted two consecutive kills to put the Raiders ahead 17-16. Yet the Mountain Hawks earned the next four straight points to take the lead and a 25-21 victory. 

Colgate rallied in the third set, taking an early 4-2 lead. The Raiders posted a .259 hitting percentage for the set which, posed against the Mountain Hawks .000 percentage, helped them cruise to a 25-15 win. 

The Raiders fought in the fourth and final set, but couldn’t match Lehigh’s hitting performance with a hitting percentage of .429. With eight ties and three lead changes, Lehigh took the lead again at 18-17. Then, with the score at 20-19, Lehigh went on a 5-1 run to take the set 25-20 and the match. 

Harris led the Raiders with 12 kills, while junior outside and right side hitter Katie Stebbins posted 10. Junior defensive specialist Madison McAndrews led on defense with 19 digs, and senior setter Jackie Macy added 23 assists. 

“It’s disappointing, but we played a good match in [sets] three and four. So we have to build on that and get ready for a really good Navy team Saturday,” head coach Ryan Baker said.

The Raiders did just that on Saturday. After taking the first set 25-18, the Midshipmen came back and earned an 8-4 advantage in the second set. Then, senior right side hitter Kate Reilly earned a kill and sparked a 5-0 run for the Raiders to take a 9-8 lead. Navy answered with two points for a 10-9 advantage, but Colgate earned three straight points for the lead, and used a 7-0 run to secure a 25-16 victory. 

The Raiders’ momentum didn’t end there, as the team posted a 25-18 win for the sweep. 

“I couldn’t be happier for this team and these seniors. After last night’s loss, we show resiliency and focus. Kathleen Harris had a monster night for us. I thought our passing game and set choices were spot on. We need to keep getting better and raising the bar each day,” Baker said. 

Harris led with 11 kills, followed by first-year middle blocker Jaelah Hutchison with seven. Stebbins, first-year middle blocker Amanda Smith and first-year outside hitter Katie Stansbury each added four. Sophomore setter Molly Smith posted 14 assists, while Macy added 12. McAndrews earned nine digs. The Raiders are back on the road this weekend, scheduled to take on American at 4 p.m. on Saturday, followed by a 2 p.m. match against Loyola in Baltimore on Sunday.  The Lady Raiders hope to keep the momentum going as they head into the playoffs.