Volleyball Splits the Weekend , Defeats Holy Cross, Falls to Army

Emma Barge


Colgate volleyball kept its four-match Patriot League winning streak alive last Friday night with a four-set victory over Holy Cross, but dropped a heartbreaker to Army in five the fol­lowing evening.

The Raiders started the first set off nice and easy, trailing 5-4 early in play. They soon picked up the pace, however, with five kills from sophomore Lindsay Young and 10 assists tallied to classmate Kaylee Fifer’s name. The team went on a 21-12 run to set the score at 25-17 in a decisive victory for Colgate.

The second set opened up with the teams neck-and-neck and continued like this until the score was tied at 20. Neither the Raiders nor the Crusaders were able to take more than a three-point lead in the run. Colgate took the lead at 23-20, but Holy Cross then stole the show with a five-point run of its own to seal the deal at 25-23. The match was tied at one set apiece.

Colgate struggled to get back on its feet and allowed the Crusaders to gain a six-point lead at 11-4, but they were able to come back and outscore Holy Cross 20-10 to come within only one point of the win. At the final point, Fifer and senior Kaylee Dougherty got up at the net with a convincing block to end set number three at 25-21. From that point on, it was not dif­ficult for the Raiders to continue their momentum and end the fourth and final set in complete control of play. Despite the fact that the Crusaders were able to play catch-up and tie to score at 10, Colgate answered with a 15-8 run to end the set and match. This time, the final point was decided by a block by Young and first-year Kenzie Hume to make a statement before the Raiders left the court.

The Raiders hoped that their tilt against Army would follow the same trend. It was not due to a lack of effort or passion that Colgate fell to the Black Knights, but the five-set match ulti­mately ended in a victory for the visitors to Cotterell Court. Despite the loss, the record book saw a third consecutive double-double from Fifer with 46 assists and 11 digs at the end of the match, while Young swung at 18 kills. Sophomore libero Caitlin Cremin tallied the most on defense with 19 digs and senior Blaire Safir also contributed 18 of her own.

Right from the start, the Black Knights effectively controlled the set play. After a tie at five, Army went on a 20-14 run to take the first set. Young tallied four kills – the most on the team – while Fifer counted eight assists.

Just like in the first game, the score was knotted at five apiece in set number two after a pair of aces from Dougherty. Though Colgate tried to break away, Army kept up and the teams once again evened out at 12. At that point, the Raiders went on a 13-8 run to grab the second set and even the match out at one game apiece. Young once again came up big with five kills, while Safir recorded seven digs. Fifer recorded 13 of her 46 assists in this game alone.

The two teams were at it again deep into the third set with the score tied up only two points away from the end of the game. Young came through with a roaring kill to break the tie and push the Raiders ahead to 24-23. It was up to Dougherty behind the line to deliver the final point of play and she did not disappoint. A service ace ended the well-played set for Army and the Raiders took a 2-1 advantage in the match. Overall, the set saw 16 ties and eight lead changes.

The intensity of the fourth set was undeniable. Both Colgate and Army came out strong and went point-for-point just as they had in the previous game. The game was tied at seven, but the Black Knights charged ahead to gain a significant lead at 13-7 after a six-point run while they kept the Raider offense completely at bay. Once Army secured a lead, Colgate struggled to fight back. The Black Knights took the set at 25-14 and once again tied the set count.

The entire match then relied on the play in the fifth game. Army initially jumped out to a 8-5 lead, but Colgate fought back and scored a 3-0 run over the Black Knights to tie it up at eight. Army then responded with a 7-3 run to end the set at 15-11 and take the match off the Raiders.

Colgate will be back in action for its family and alum weekend at home on Friday night when they play the 2010 Patriot League Champions, American University, at 7 p.m. and Navy at 2 p.m. the following afternoon.

Contact Emma Barge at [email protected]