Volleyball Continues Strong League Play

Jessica Rice

Colgate travelled to Lehigh and Navy this weekend and carried on their undefeated winning streak in league play with a now 4-0 record. The Raiders earned a 3-1 win against Lehigh on Friday night and another 3-1 match win against Navy on Saturday. Colgate has definitely started their season strong as returning Patriot League Champions.

In their first game of the weekend against Lehigh, the Raiders fought with impressive offensive skills as four individual players had double digit kills at the end of the match. Colgate was led by first-year outside hitter Kathleen Harris who had another outstanding game with 16 kills and 14 digs. Junior middle blocker Diane Seely also had a successful game with 13 kills and 3 solo blocks.

Senior outside Lindsay Young and junior middle blocker Kenzie Hume also contributed to the Raiders’ impressive hitting statistics as they contributed with 12 and 11 kills respectively. Defense also had a strong match with a total of 81 digs over the course of the match. Senior setter Kaylee Fifer had a great match with 17 digs and a whopping 50 assists. Senior libero Caitlin Cremin contributed 15 digs to the massive total followed by Lexi Finfer with 10.

Lehigh started the match with a small lead that they held on to for the entirety of the match. They pushed their advantage to a five-point lead after the Mountain Hawks’ Claire Bradshaw had a few aces. With kills from Hume and Fifer, Colgate was able to lessen the deficit to one when the score reached 21-20 with Lehigh still in the lead. But Lehigh went on a 3-1 point run, beating the Raiders 25-22 in the

first set.

However, Colgate didn’t let their defeat in the first set have any effect on their play whatsoever. They came out on fire at the start of the second set with a massive 11-4 lead. The Raiders never let up as they pushed to an 11-point advantage after sophomore right side Kate Reilly got a block, putting the score at 21-10. Then Hume got two consecutive kills followed by another kill from Young to win the

set 25-11.

“After set one, we just talked about staying composed and we made sure we cut down on our errors. It takes a while to adjust to the gym and we were able to do that in the final three sets,” head coach Ryan Baker said. The Raiders truly did just that as their success in the first match carried over to the rest of the matches.

At the start of the third set, Lehigh took a 5-1 lead over the Raiders. But Colgate fought back, finally pulling ahead 10-9 after Fifer got yet another kill. Colgate pushed their advantage taking a 16-13 lead. Then with help from Harris with four kills, the Raiders went on a seven-point run, taking a 23-13 lead. Young came through with the final kill to win the third set for the Raiders 25-15, putting them ahead 2-1 overall.

Lehigh didn’t give up. They fought in the fourth set, taking a 14-11 lead over the Raiders. The two teams were neck and neck until Colgate took the lead at 23-22 after a few Mountain Hawk unforced errors. Seely and Harris finished the match with kills, beating Lehigh in a 25-23 win. This match put Colgate 3-0 in league play before they traveled to play Navy the following day.

Navy travelled to Annapolis, Maryland for their second away match of the weekend. The Raiders continued their winning streak as they posted a 3-1 win after defeating Navy. Fifer had yet another impressive match with 45 assists and 12 digs. Hume and Reilly had 13 and 10 kills respectively, while Cremin led in the back row with 17 digs and two aces. 

Navy fought back led by senior Erin Fortner who had 14 kills and 10 digs, followed by junior Alex Cassel who had 13 kills as well. Navy’s setter sophomore Alex Karika had 46 assists while first-year Alli Graf contributed on defense with 17 digs.

Colgate fell in the first set, but fought back in the second. The score was tied at 22 but Hume and Dyer both earned kills for the Raiders. Finally, a Navy unforced error put Colgate back in the match with a 25-22 win. The third set was really close as well as the teams fought back and forth with a tied score at 17. Dyer and Young both got kills to put the Raiders ahead 24-21, but the Mids came back tying the score at 24-all. Colgate fought back with a kill from Seely and then an unforced error from Navy gave them the 26-24 win.

Navy never gave up over the course of the match as they held a small 12-10 lead over Colgate in the fourth set. The Raiders countered with kills from Seely and Harris, sending the Raiders on a 6-1 point that them a three-point advantage over the Mids. Then Navy fought back, tying the score at 16, but Colgate scored 9 of the next 13 points in order to secure a 25-19 win.

“I am really happy to come out of Navy with a win. Navy played really well from the opening point to the last,” Baker said of the team’s effort against the Midshipmen.

The Raiders, still undefeated in league with a 4-0 record, will take on American, last year’s Patriot League Championship’s runner-up this weekend. The match will take place at home at Cotterell Court on Friday night at 7p.m., followed by a game versus Loyola on Saturday at 4p.m.

        Contact Jessica Rice at [email protected]