Volleyball Sweeps Series at Syracuse, Wins Invite

Jessica Rice, Maroon-News Staff

This past weekend, the Raiders went to Syracuse, N.Y. to compete in the Otto Invitational hosted by Syracuse University. Colgate defeated Cornell, Syracuse and Albany to take the tournament. Strong offensive play was just one of the factors that contributed to the perfect 3-0 record for

the weekend.  

In the first match against Cornell, the score was tied 7-all until the Big Red took off on an 11-4 point run to build an 18-11 advantage over the Raiders. Colgate countered with a 7-2 point run to get back in the game and cut the Big Red’s lead down to two. Despite the effort, Cornell went on another 5-2 point run to win 25-20 in the first set. 

Then in the second set, with the score close at 16-15, Colgate went on a 9-3 point run to take the second set 25-18 and tie the match. The Raiders held the lead during the entirety of the third set, taking five of the first six points. They held the

momentum and pushed to a 25-17 victory. 

Although the fourth set was tied 13-all, Colgate took 12 of the final 14 points to secure the 25-15 win, and to take the match. The Raiders’ success can be attributed largely to their effective offensive play.

Senior middle blocker Diane Seely and sophomore outside hitter Kathleen Harris led Colgate with nine kills apiece. Senior middle blocker Kenzie Hume also pitched in with nine kills while senior right side Mari Faines and junior outside hitter Katie Fauntleroy each had eight. 

Overall, the Raiders accrued a .258 hitting percentage and 45 kills during the match. First-year setter Molly Smith and junior setter Jackie Macy posted 21 and 19 assists respectively. First-year Elena Simpson led on defense with 15 digs, while Hume and Seely added four blocks each. 

“What’s hard to see in the box score is how great we served tonight,” Head Coach Ryan Baker pointed out. “I thought both setters did a great job tonight running our offense. They made great decisions, which generated the kind of production we need from our hitters.”

On Sunday, the Raiders took on Syracuse and Albany. In their opening match of the day against Syracuse, Colgate started off down by three with the score at 4-1. The Orange went on a 7-2 point run, to further their advantage to a 25-18 win. 

Although the score was tied at 21-all, Syracuse’s momentum carried over into the second set. They posted three consecutive kills after a service error to take a 2-0 lead for the match. 

The third set stayed incredibly close. The lead changed six times and the game was tied a total of nine times during the set. Yet with the score tied at 23-all, two consecutive Syracuse attack errors secured the 25-23 win for the Raiders. The score was tied 13-13 in the fourth set, but the Raiders took the momentum with a 9-4 point run. Colgate beat the Orange 25-20 to push the match to a fifth and final set. 

Colgate started the fifth game out strong, taking seven of the first eight points. Although Syracuse came back to get within three, the Raiders finished the match with a 15-11 victory. The win against Syracuse was the first time Colgate has beat the Orange since 1995. 

Once again, Seely led the Raiders with 16 kills, and Hume followed with nine. They both earned hitting percentages over three hundred, specifically .306, and a .318 percentage, for the match respectively. Seely and Faines each posted five blocks. Smith contributed 22 assists and 11 digs, while Macy added 22 assists as well along with nine digs. 

In their final match of the weekend against Albany, Colgate started by earning eight of the first 10 points in the first set. The Raiders never let up and finished the set with a 7-3 point run for a final score

of 25-19. 

Although the second set remained close throughout, as the score was tied at 23, Albany took advantage of two Colgate unforced errors to take the second set 25-23. In the middle of the third set, Colgate held a small advantage over the Great Danes at 12-10. However, the Raiders took off on a 13-4 point run to take back the momentum of the match and a 25-14 victory. 

Colgate didn’t let up in the fourth set, establishing an early 5-1 lead. However, Albany fought back and reduced the Raiders’ advantage to one with the score at 13-12. Yet Colgate countered once again, this time taking 12 of the final 15 points to win the set, and the match, with a final score of 25-15. 

Hume was selected as the MVP of the Otto Invitational after her remarkable performance which included 33 kills, a whopping .424 hitting percentage and nine blocks. Faines was selected as a part of the All-Tournament Team as well. She posted 17 kills, a .306 overall hitting percentage and nine blocks as well. 

With a current overall 6-4 record, Colgate will head into Patriot League play this weekend. The Raiders travel to play Holy Cross on Friday at 7 p.m., and will also compete against Army in West Point on

Saturday at 5 p.m.