Volleyball Competes in Pitt Invitational: Raiders Stru ggle on the Road; Ready for Colgate Classic

The women’s volleyball team traveled to Pittsburgh this weekend for the Duquesne/Pitt Invitational, and was defeated by their three opponents. 

Senior outside and right side hitter Katie Fauntleroy felt that the team improved with every matchup, despite the end results. 

“We got better and better as the weekend went on, our match against Duquesne being our best. It just shows us how we have a lot more to bring to the table and how we aren’t even close to peaking.” 

First-year middle blocker Jaelah Hutchison was named to the All-Tournament Team after earning an average of 1.20 kills and an average of one block each frame during this weekend’s matches. 

The Raiders opened the tournament with a match against Pittsburgh on Saturday, but fell to the Panthers in a 0-3 sweep. Although the score was close halfway through the first set, Pittsburgh went on a 5-1 run that helped them secure a 17-25 victory.

The Panthers’ momentum carried over as they went on to defeat the Raiders 10-25 in the second set and 13-25 in the third set to take the match. 

For the Raiders, junior outside hitter Kathleen Harris led with six kills overall, and first-year libero and defensive specialist Peighton McRobie added 14 digs. 

Hours later, the team took on Youngstown State in their second contest of the weekend, but lost the match 3-1. After losing the first set to the Penguins 17-25, the Raiders rallied in the second set to take a narrow 26-24 win in the second set of the match. 

The score was tied 22-all in a close third set that featured 11 ties and five lead changes, but the Penguins rattled off three consecutive kills to take the set 22-25, and the 1-2 lead. In the fourth and final set, Youngstown State pushed a 13-14 lead to a 13-20 advantage after a 6-0 point run, which helped them secure a 17-25 victory, and the match. 

Harris led Colgate with 14 kills, followed by Hutchison with 12. Sophomore setter Molly Smith posted a team-high of 36 assists, while sophomore defensive specialist Elena Simpson added 14 digs. 

Tied at 17 in the first set with tournament co-host Duquesne, a Colgate attack error and a kill from the Dukes started an 8-2 point run that led to the Dukes’ 17-25 victory over the Raiders. 

The Dukes’ momentum proved to carry over into the second set as an early lead contributed to the 16-25 win.

Although the Dukes held a 13-21 advantage over the Raiders in the third set, Colgate rallied and earned 10 of the next 13 points to reduce their lead to one, but another kill from the Dukes gave them the 23-25 win and the 0-3 sweep.

The team now holds a 0-6 record overall, but head coach Ryan Baker remained positive after this weekend’s tournament. 

“Our record does not indicate how much effort we are putting forth,” Coach Baker said. “I am proud of how hard we are playing. We are facing some of the best teams from their respective conferences, so it is tough.”

The Raiders are set to host the Colgate Classic this weekend, where they will take on Rutgers on Friday, September 11 at 7 p.m. in their first home match of the season, before facing Yale at 12:30 p.m. and Albany at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Cotterell Court.