Volleyball Goes 1-1 in PL Play Defeats Navy 3-1; Falls to American 3-1

The Colgate volleyball team traveled to the nation’s capital last weekend to face off against Navy and Ameri­can University. Friday evening in Annapolis marked a victorious start to the beginning of Patriot League play as the team pulled off a 3-1 win over the Midship­men. The glory lasted only a short while, as the Raiders dropped their Saturday match against notoriously fierce competitors American University in a 3-1 battle.

After a hard few weeks on the road, the Raiders came out to a slow start against Navy and dropped the first set of the match 25-18. Determined not to let another match slip, however, they rallied and came out to play from then on. At the start of the second set, Colgate had already secured a 6-2 lead over the Midshipmen with two kills by senior middle Kaylee Dougherty in addition to one by classmate Alexis Griffith.

Just as soon as Navy answered to take the 8-7 lead, Colgate came back with a 5-0 run to once again take the advantage off kills by first-year Diane Seely and Griffith with the help of three Navy errors. The Midshipmen crept up on the Colgate lead, closing the gap to 19-18, but kills by senior Blaire Safir and Seely in addition to a service ace by sophomore Allie Dyer secured the 25-20 win for Colgate.

It was Navy who came out with the 6-2 lead in the third set of the match, but Colgate ran out ahead to take an initial 11-10 lead which they then extended to a 15- 10 advantage. The Raiders’s offense attacked the Mids from every angle during the run, with contributing kills by four different Colgate hitters. Navy was able to close the gap to 15-12, but trailed for the rest of the set and was eventually shut down with a decisive 25-15 score.

With all the momentum on their side, the Raiders were clearly the dominant presence going into the fourth set of the match. The teams traded points toward the be­ginning of the game, but Colgate was able to break away to gain a huge eight-point lead at 14-6. Once again, the Raider offense was a force to be reckoned with and Navy was unable to prepare for the diverse attack. Colgate ended the set at 25-13 and recorded their first Patriot League win of the season.

“This was a good road win against a very scrappy Navy team,” Head Coach Ryan Baker said. “They made us earn everything. The difference tonight was our three backrow players and our reserves. They really provided a much-needed spark. Kaylee Dougherty and Diane Seely were huge offensively for us as well”

Day two of the weekend proved to be less success­ful for the Raider women as they dropped the match against American University, 3-1. The opening set began with competitive attacks from both sides, but Ameri­can was able to take an 11-8 lead early on. The Raiders fought back to tie the match at lucky 13 off kills from sophomore standout Lindsay Young and first-year Mari Faines. The teams traded the lead throughout the middle points of the set, but Colgate came out on top with a 18-16 advantage going into the most decisive points of the game. The Raiders then extended the advantage to 21-18. American fought back to cut the lead to 23-22, but Colgate refused to give up and closed out the match at 25-22. Young recorded seven of the 17 Raider kills in the set.

“I was really pleased with our intensity and focus in the first set,” Coach Baker said. “We need to learn how to sustain that.”

The team was, in fact, unable to maintain the advan­tage and allowed the Eagles to gain a 12-3 lead early on in the second set. Fortunately, Colgate was able to take advantage of several American errors to close the gap at 13-10. That momentum was still not enough to secure a lead, and the Raiders played catch-up for the rest of the set and eventually lost 25-16.

The score was even going into the third game of the match, but once again the Eagles came out to an early 10-5 lead. With competitive blocking and offense, the Raiders were able to cut the gap to two points at 19-17, but American was once again able to push their advan­tage to put Colgate in a tough spot at 23-18. The Eagles walked away with the 25-21 win after a Raider error granted them their last point.

In the fourth set, Colgate allowed the Eagles to once again come out to an early lead, this time with a four-point gap at 10-6. The Raiders fought back to close the gap and tie the score at 13 with kills from first-year Ken­zie Hume, Young and Safir. In true form, American an­swered quickly to jump ahead to a 16-13 lead. Colgate tried to catch up down the stretch, but was unable to seal the deal and American walked away with the overall win.

The Colgate volleyball team will be back in action this weekend at home for its Dig Pink matches for can­cer awareness. The Raiders will face off against Lehigh on Friday night at 7 p.m. and Lafayette the following day at 3 p.m. on Cotterell Court.

Contact Emma Barge at [email protected].