The Colgate volleyball team earned a road split last weekend with a victory over the Holy Cross Crusaders (25-21, 20-25, 25-14, 25-21) followed by a loss to the Army Black Knights (25-21, 25-21, 25-20).
Despite being far from home, the Colgate Raiders found themselves comfortable at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA last Friday night. The Raiders carried a 36-4 advantage in the last 40 matches against the Crusaders, so they entered the game with confidence in their ability to post a win. The confidence evidently gave Colgate enough momentum to barrel through their opponent.
The Colgate defense was lead by a veteran and rookie duo of senior libero Devon Applegate and first-year setter Kaylee Fifer; the seven blocks posted by first-year middle Lindsay Young also supported the defense. Young contributed on the offensive end as well with 11 kills to match junior Maureen Colligan’s count for the contest.
Despite their comfortable history with the Crusaders, the Raiders could not take Friday’s match lightly. They desperately needed a win after dropping their last two Patriot League matches.
After taking the opening points with two consecutive kills by Young and junior middle Kaylee Dougherty, the Raiders slipped and allowed Holy Cross to swipe the next seven points to secure an early lead. With this deficit, the Raiders buckled down and came back to the score at a lucky 13-13 on a service ace by Fifer followed by a kill by Colligan. The team took this new momentum and pushed through to win the set at 25-21.
Perhaps still a bit too comfortable with their opponents, the Raiders let set number two slip, finishing with a losing score of 20-25.
Fortunately, Colgate was able to wake up in the middle of the match, taking the third game with a blistering score of 25-14. The Raiders came out with an aggressive bang in the beginning of the set and never let up. Eleven attack errors on the Crusader side of the net also contributed to the win.
“I’m really happy how we bounced back tonight,” Head Coach Ryan Baker said. “Our passing was solid and our block was strong. Lindsay and Mo had some kills at key moments in the match.”
The Raiders finished the fourth set at 25-20, with a 10-3 run in the middle of the game supported by kills from first-year libero Caitlin Cremin.
The team lost its spark the next night when it played Army for the first time this season, losing 0-3 to the Black Knights. The defeat brought the Raiders’ record to 11-10 overall and 4-3 in Patriot League play.
Saturday’s game saw players’ roles and responsibilities being rotated on the floor. The team split setters, with Fifer and junior Blaire Safir posting 13 and 15 assists, respectively. Senior captain Logan Keala posted an even ten kills and ten digs for the match, while first-year Caitlin Cremin led the team in digs with a total of 11 overall.
The day began with even play and good competition between the two teams, with the score crawling back-and-forth to 8-7. After that, however, Army’s Ariana Mankus proved to be too big at the net, posting 19 kills in 40 attempts for the Black Knights, along with 18 digs for the match.
The second and third sets were also quite competitive, with the teams staying within a five point range of each other at all times.
Colgate held the lead on several occasions in the third set, but an 11-3 run by Army brought them a seven-point lead at 18-11. This run proved to be too difficult to recover from, and Colgate gave up the set and match with a score of 25-20.
The Raiders will be on the road again next weekend when they face American University on Friday and Navy on Saturday to start the second half of Patriot League play.