Volleyball Continues Streak, Remains In Title Race

The Colgate women’s volleyball team continued their unbelievable winning streak in Patriot League play with two more sweeps against the Army Black Knights and the Holy Cross Crusaders this week. This past weekend marked the Raiders eighth straight win and their seventh sweep in a row, leaving them undefeated in their last 23 sets.The team travelled to West Point, New York to play Army on the Black Knights’ home turf. Army has successfully established itself as a main competitor in the Patriot League this season. Despite this, the Raiders earned not only the win, but swept the Black Knights in three. Junior middle blocker Diane Seely continued to lead her team on offense with 11 kills, followed by senior outside hitter Lindsay Young with 10 kills thanks to senior setter Kaylee Fifer with 32 assists over the course of the match. Colgate’s defense was exceptional as well; Allie Dyer commanded the back row with 17 digs along with freshmen Kathleen Harris who had 16. Head Coach Ryan Baker also said, “Allie Dyer, Caitlin Cremin and Lexi Finger were outstanding from the back line.”

At the start of the first set, kills from junior middle blocker Kenzie Hume and Harris gave Colgate a slight 8-5 advantage over Army. But the Black Knights answered and came back with a 16-14 lead after three consecutive kills. But a 5-1 point run by the Raiders put them back ahead at 19-17 after three kills and an ace from senior libero Caitlin Cremin. Colgate used that advantage, never let up and pushed to a 25-21 win. In the second set, both teams were tied at nine before Young and sophomore right side Kate Reilly both got kills, and Fifer earned an ace to put the Raiders ahead 12-9. They kept the momentum going and with another kill from Harris, they secured a 20-15 lead over the Black Knights. Fifer earned set point with a kill for Colgate to finish with a 25-18 win.

The third set started off more even as both teams went back and forth until the game was tied at 10-10. Then Colgate had three kills, giving them a 14-10 lead over Army. Then the Black Knights began to have unforced errors as the Raiders pulled ahead to a 19-12 lead. The Raiders finished out the set with a 4-0 point run to secure the 25-17 win and the sweep against Army. “I am really pleased with our serving and defense,” Baker said. “Our game got better as the match went on, which is a testament to the type of team we are.”

Colgate traveled to Worcester, Mass. the following day to play Holy Cross where they managed to keep their outstanding 23 consecutive win streak alive after coming back from behind in a close third set. “Wins come in all different shapes and sizes. This certainly wasn’t our best performance, but we found a way to win.” Baker said.Harris led on offense with 14 kills and contributed to defense with 10 digs. Fifer had 21 assists, while sophomore setter Jackie Macy added 13. On defense, Cremin led the back row with 14 digs.

In the first set, with the help of an 8-1 point run, the Raiders took an early 12-4 lead. Seely added three of those points, after earning three of her seven kills of the match in that first big run. The Raiders’ serving was also a huge contributor as Dyer, Macy and Harris all earned aces. The Crusaders made an attempt to come back with a five-point run, lowering Colgate’s advantage to 16-12. But then the Raiders pulled ahead with help from Seely with two kills, pushing to a 22-13 lead over Holy Cross. Despite their efforts to get back, lowering the advantage once again to four, the Crusaders’ unforced errors helped the Raiders secure the 25-18 win.

The momentum carried over into the second set as the Raiders immediately pulled ahead in the second set with a 15-7 lead after a 7-1 point run with help from Young and Hume with kills. Senior libero Lexi Finger also had an ace, adding to the Raiders’ advantage. From there the Raiders never let up, pushing to an overwhelming 25-12 win over the Crusaders.

Then the momentum shifted drastically as Holy Cross secured a 23-14 lead over the Raiders in the third set. But Colgate finally countered with a seven point run which cut the Crusaders advantage drastically to 23-21 with help from Reilly and Young who each had huge pivotal kills bringing the momentum back towards Colgate’s favor. Holy Cross earned the first shot at match point at 24-21, but failed to secure the win as Colgate countered once again with four consecutive points with an ace from Finger and unforced errors from Holy Cross. Harris and Reilly each came through with kills, earning the Raiders an attempt at match point. Then, the Crusaders’ sophomore Emily Oliver hit a ball that sailed out of bounds, giving Colgate the 28-26 win, and the 3-0 overall win as well.”The third set was really impressive,” Baker said.”We got some big swings at crucial times, which is what was needed.”With their 23 consecutive set undefeated streak, Colgate is now 19-6 overall and 11-1 in the Patriot League. The Raiders are back at home at Cotterell Court this week as they take on Navy this Friday, November 8 at 7p.m. and Lehigh Saturday November 9 at 3p.m.

Contact Jessica Rice at [email protected].