Volleyball Clinches Berth in Patriot League Tourney



Jessica Rice

The Colgate women’s volleyball team was back at home this weekend at Cotterell Court, where on Friday the Raiders came back from behind in order to come back after a 2-0 game start to Navy to beat the Midshipmen 3-2 overall. Saturday was Senior Night where the team honored its five seniors – outside hitter Lindsay Young, setter Kaylee Fifer, libero Caitlin Cremin, defensive specialist Allie Dyer and libero Lexi Finger – before the game.

Colgate ended its nine match winning streak against Lehigh in a 3-0 loss. This puts the Raiders’ record at 20-7 overall and 12-2 in the Patriot League with a spot in the Patriot League Tournament after their victory

against Navy. Junior middle blocker Diane Seely had an incredible match against Navy with 23 kills. Fifer contributed with 55 assists and Cremin and Dyer commanded the back row with 24 and 17 digs, respectively. Navy put up a good fight against the Raiders. “Give a lot of credit to Navy,” Head Coach Ryan Baker said. “They came out with a game plan and their defense was incredible. They tested us the entire match.”

The Mids were led by senior Erin Fortner with 13 kills and two blocks over the course of the match, and by first year Alli Graf on defense with 26 digs. Navy came out strong and took the first two sets 25-23 as a result. But Colgate came back from the 0-2 deficit to beat the Mids in three. At the start of the third set, the Raiders started out with four consecutive points. Navy pushed to stay within two at 8-6, but the Raiders didn’t let up as they pushed to a 25-14 win. Colgate took another lead in the fourth set, starting it set with a 5-0 advantage. Navy fought to bring the score within one at 14-13, but Colgate scored 12 of the next 17 points to win the game 25-19.

The score was close during the entirety of the fifth set. The set was tied at seven and the two teams continued to trade points. Seely earned a pair of kills to give the Raiders a 9-7 advantage. Colgate pushed that advantage to secure a 15-11 win, defeating the Mids in a 3-2 victory.  On Saturday, the Raiders fell to Lehigh despite putting forth a good effort in a 3-0 loss. Seely had another successful game with 16 kills and 4 blocks, while Fifer added 30 assists. The Mountain Hawks excelled on defense as senior Rachel Charles had 22 digs during the match.  

In the first set the Mountain Hawks started with a 16-8 lead over Colgate after two 6-0 point runs. Colgate fought to stay in the game at 22-20, but ultimately fell 25-22 as Lehigh took control of the match. The Raiders came back from their loss with a 4-1 lead in the second set with help of two kills from Seely, and a few of Lehigh’s hitting errors. But Lehigh answered with five straight points to take a 7-5 lead. The teams traded points until Seely and first-year outside hitter Kathleen Harris both got kills, putting Colgate ahead 16-15. But once again, Lehigh countered with a 6-1 point run in order to take a 21-17 lead that they pushed to a 25-20 win.

Lehigh took their momentum into the third set and used it to their advantage in gaining a 16-9 lead at the start. The Raiders attempted another comeback bringing the score within one at 18-17 with an 8-2 point run with three kills from Seely. The teams remained neck and neck as Colgate tied the score at 22. Yet two kills from Lehigh and an unforced error from the Raiders resulted in a 26-24 win for the Mountain Hawks. The Raiders lost the match 3-0, but still have earned their spot in the Patriot League tournament as they fight this week to start the tournament at home. They are still currently tied for American for first.

This week, Seely was also chosen as the Molten Patriot League Player of the Week for her impeccable play as middle hitter. After Seely’s 23 kill game against Navy with a .383 hitting percentage and a 16 kill game, with only two errors against Lehigh, her hitting percentage jumped to third overall in the Patriot League. Although she is currently ranked third in the league, she has almost double the attacks as the two ranked above her and an overall hitting percentage of .341. Seely also had five blocks against Navy and four more block assists against Lehigh, contributing to her overall total of 85 blocks and ranking her fourth in the league. The Raiders travel to Baltimore and Washington D.C. this weekend where they will play Loyola and American for a second time to finish off league play, and settle the tie for first place between Colgate and American.

Contact Jessica Rice at [email protected]