Volleyball Remains on Top, Despite League Loss

Colgate volleyball hit a bump in what other-wise looked like the road to triumph as they lost their first Patriot League match of the season. After a tidy 3-0 defeat of Lafayette at home on Friday night, the team faced Lehigh, losing a 1-3 battle on Cotterell Court.

In the game against Lafayette, Colgate came out of the gates swinging. Sophomore Allie Dyer continued her rock-solid serving from behind the line, helping the Raiders reach a commanding, and early, 12-3 lead. Junior setter Kaylee Fifer also contributed a few early points at the net with a pair of tricky pushes into open court space. Lafayette worked hard to come within 14-10 and later 17-14, but Colgate soon regained control and ended the set at 25-17.

“It was a whole team effort. As the season goes on, we’re getting more wins and get-ting together as a team more. You can’t do it on your own as a passer, as a setter, as a hit-ter. We’re figuring that out and working together,” sophomore libero Lexi Finger said.

Set two was another quick ordeal, as the Raider women took another early lead at 8-6, which they later extended to take a 16-7 ad-vantage. Their domination on the court gave the team flexibility to rotate players on and off the court, resulting in a more varied offense and agile defense.

“A lot of people contributed. I’m trying to keep the attitude light and keep everyone focused. We are subbing a lot so everyone’s involved,” Finger said.

Lafayette tried to get back into the set, trailing by only four points at 19-15 but was again swallowed up by the Colgate offense. First-year Katie Fauntleroy saw some time on the court, contributing a pair of kills to help cap the set at 25-17 after a 6-2 run.

The Raiders were determined to put away set three the same way they had ended the previous two games, and that they did. La-fayette struggled to keep up with the Raid-ers in the first 11 points of the match, taking only four against Colgate’s seven tallies. The Leopards were able to catch up and met the Raiders at a tie for points 12, 13, 18 and 19.

First-year setter Jackie Macy and sopho-more middle Mari Faines each came around for a kill to help Colgate break away. Junior outside hitter Lindsay Young also contrib-uted a number of kills and blocks at the net, tallying three of the last four points in Col-gate’s final triumphant 6-1 run for a 25-20 final score.

“Our serving (nine aces) won the match for us tonight. I didn’t feel this was our best match, but we will learn from it and move on. We have a really good Lehigh team coming to us tomorrow so we need to refocus,” head coach Ryan Baker said.

Unfortunately, the Raider’s victory lap around the Patriot League ended on Sat-urday when they dropped their very first conference match all season. While the Raiders still maintain their solo status at the top of the standings, the match brought a blow to the team’s confidence.

Colgate began the match with a 5-1 lead over Lehigh, until the Mountain Hawks were able to tie the game at 11 points apiece. Col-gate ran away with several points – three of which were thanks to Lehigh errors – and took the 19-14 advantage. In this set, Colgate ran with their momentum and ended play with a string of aggressive offensive points with kills by Fifer and Young for a 25-22 victory. The Raiders were unable to keep their winning streak alive, however, and lost the next three consecutive matches to the Mountain Hawks.

Colgate returns to the court tonight at 7 p.m. at home on Cotterell Court to face off against Bucknell, a team that currently holds the second-to-last place in the Patriot League standings.

Contact Emma Barge at [email protected].