Volleyball Participants in Blackbird Invitational

This weekend, the women’s volleyball Team traveled to Brooklyn for the Blackbird Invite hosted by LIU Brooklyn. They finished the tournament with a 2-1 record after beating Fairfield and Cornell, with a mid-tournament loss to the home team.

On Friday afternoon, Colgate started the tournament with a match against Fairfield. “It certainly wasn’t our best match of the season, but we found a way to win. Fairfield had a good game defensively and they pressured us to make plays,” head coach Ryan Baker said. First-year outside hitter Kathleen Harris led the team with 12 kills followed by sophomore right side Kate Reilly with 11 kills.

The first set was always very close as neither team was able to achieve more than a three-point lead throughout the duration. Colgate made a final push after 20 advancing the score to 24-21. Senior outside hitter Lindsay Young made her fifth kill of the set finishing the first set with a 25-22 win for the Raiders.

The Fairfield Stags came out strong in their second set with a 25-16 victory over the Raiders. They utilized and early lead until they pushed for another 6-1 point run over the Raiders. The Stags held their lead and won the set after a few Raider attacking errors.

The third set was close once again as both teams were tied at 19-19. However, two consecutive errors put the Raiders ahead by two points. Then the Raiders put the pressure on the Stags as Harris made two consecutive kills, followed by a block by junior middle blocker Diane Seely and senior setter Kaylee Fifer. The Stags were able to earn two points before Seely got her fifth kill of the match ending the set 25-21.

The Raiders’ momentum carried over to the fourth set as they held a 16-10 lead after three kills from Fifer. But the Stags didn’t stop pursuing the win as they narrowed the Raiders’ lead to 20-19. The Raiders answered by earning five consecutive points, winning the fourth and final set with a 25-19 win.

Saturday morning the Raiders had a match against host LIU Brooklyn. They narrowly lost in a five set match. Harris led the Raiders with record 18 kills and 20 digs. Fifer also had an admirable game with 53 assists and 24 digs. Senior libero Caitlin Cremin and senior Allie Dyer had 21 and 20 digs respectively.  Seely also contributed with 16 kills and five blocks during the match.

Despite being down by five near the middle of the first set with a score of 16-11, the Raiders were able to tie the Blackbirds at 17-17. Young, Fifer and Seely all had kills in order to overcome the six-point deficit. But the Blackbirds went on a run pushing their lead to 24-19. The Raiders fought until the last point with kills from Reilly and junior middle blocker Kenzie Hume pushing the score back to 24-23, but lost with a kill from the other side.

The Raiders came back strong in the second set with a 6-1 lead at the start that didn’t waiver as the Raiders pressed the Blackbirds to a 15-10 lead with kills from Hume and Seely. The Blackbirds chipped away at the Raiders’ lead cutting Colgate’s advantage to 23-21. But after a timeout and two consecutive kills from Seely and Harris the Raiders secured the win at 25-21.

Despite the win in the second set, LIU Brooklyn opened up the third set with a 14-4 lead. The Blackbirds’ lead never waivered as they took the third set with a 25-21 win.

Although Colgate took the lead early in the fourth set, the Blackbirds fought back tying the game at 10-10. First-year defensive specialist Madison McAndrews got an ace for the Raiders followed by a kill from Harris. Colgate earned an 18-4 lead followed by a 6-2 point run increasing their lead over the Blackbirds to 24-18. The Raiders successfully earned set point to push the match to a fifth set.

The score remained close in the final set of the match until LIU pulled ahead by two points with a lead of 9-7. Colgate came back with a kill from Harris but the Blackbirds countered with three consecutive points earning a 12-8 lead. The Raiders were able to decrease the Blackbird’s lead to two but ultimately lost the

match 15-12.

The Raiders rallied on Saturday afternoon for their second match of the afternoon against Cornell as they swept the team in a 3-0 win. Diane Seely had an impressive match with a hitting percentage over 40 percent, leading her team with 10 kills and two blocks. Young and Reilly also had eight kills each thanks to Kaylee Fifer with 38 assists.

The first set started out close as Colgate took a slim 7-6 lead, but then Colgate pushed nine consecutive points earning a 16-6 advantage over Cornell. The Raiders’ run only continued with two aces from McAndrews, and six errors from Cornell. At match point, Colgate held a fourteen-point lead over Cornell at 24-10, and won the set after another Big Red error.

The Raiders’ momentum continued with a 6-2 lead early in the second set due to Cornell’s unforced errors, however, Cornell came back obtaining a 9-8 lead over the Raiders. The set was tied at 15-15 when Colgate scored 10 of the next 12 points taking a 2-0 advantage over Cornell, thanks to Harris with five kills and Seely with three.

Colgate started the third set with a 7-0 run and a huge 15-6 lead over Cornell. Reilly was responsible for a huge part of the Raiders’ success scoring three of those seven points. Cornell fought to bring the score to 21-18, but the Raiders never let up. Thanks to two kills from Seely and Cornell’s unforced errors, Colgate secured the 3-0 win over Cornell with a final score of 25-20.

“I am really happy with the way we finished this tournament. We became more of a team with every match, which is what these tournaments are all about.” Baker said. The Raiders now 6-3 after this tournament will be headed to North Carolina State for the N.C. State Invitational this weekend.

Contact Jessica Rice at [email protected].