Volleyball Earns 2-1 at Colgate Classic

Volleyball Earns 2-1 at Colgate Classic

The Colgate volleyball team hosted the annual Colgate Classic this past weekend, where the Raiders started off the fall season with a 2-1 record. The ladies won a tight 3-2 match over Rhode Island on Friday night, and then proceeded to beat Fairfield, 3-1, on Saturday afternoon before falling 1-3 to Syracuse later that evening.

“This team is a bunch of competitors who enjoy being challenged,” Head Coach Ryan Baker said. “Throughout the weekend, we were faced with tough competition and we rose to the occasion. I also feel we have a group of players who are very versatile, which will allow us to create different lineups. Our depth defensively is very exciting.”

The Raiders’ first match of the Classic brought them up against Rhode Island, a team that had inaugurated the tournament earlier that afternoon by defeating Fairfield, 3-1. Colgate stole any momentum they might have had, however, as they simply dominated the scoreboard during the first set, 25-12.

The Rams would not give up easily, however, and they worked their way back into the match, beating Colgate 25-19 in the second game before letting the Raiders back in with a very close 26-24 win in the third.

The fourth set saw Rhode Island earn a 25-18 win, tying the match at 2-2 and sending the teams into one final game. The Raiders and Rams went neck-in-neck for the first half of the period, with Colgate down just one point when it came time to switch sides.

The Raiders then rallied ahead, scoring six consecutive points and taking a 13-8 lead, after which they finished off the match with a 15-9 victory the decisive set.

In the match against Rhode Island, juniors Kaylee Dougherty and Maureen Colligan led the way for Colgate at the net, each posting 15 kills; with senior

co-captain Logan Keala also chipping in double digits with 12.

Junior setter Blaire Safir chalked up 29 assists throughout the four sets, while senior co-captain Devon Applegate ran the back row with 14 defensive digs.

Against Fairfield, Colgate took the first set, 25-19, and then dominated the second game, 25-13. After a brief let-up in which Fairfield defeated the Raiders, 25-20, in the fourth set, Colgate came back to capture the final set, 25-18.

In that match, Colligan led the Raiders with 12 kills, while first-year setter Kaylee Fifer had 22 assists and Applegate brought up 10 defensive digs.

“We did a fairly good job of taking care of the little things all weekend such as covering, being still on defense and transitioning hard,” Coach Baker said. “We also had some very consistent performances from some key players such as Mo Colligan and Devon Applegate.”

In their final match of the tournament, the Raiders suffered a close loss to upstate opponent Syracuse. Colgate earned a victory in the first set, 25-22, but then dropped the second game to the Orange, 25-18.

The third set was dramatically close, with both teams putting up an intense fight, but Syracuse came out on top, 25-23.

The last set saw Syracuse charge forward with the lead to gain the win.

Colgate boasted a late rally, but it wasn’t enough to stop the Orange from taking the set, 25-22, and consequently the match, 3-1.

Syracuse came out of the Colgate Classic undefeated, while the Raiders finished 2-1, Rhode Island went 1-2 and Fairfield finished 0-3.

“Overall, I was extremely pleased with our defensive effort and intensity throughout the Syracuse match,” Coach Baker said. “We made them earn their victory. I think we need to do a better job of putting the ball down when we get the chance. There were times we became passive in long rallies which you can not do against such a physical team.”

Against Syracuse, Daugherty, Colligan, and senior co-captain Casey Ritt all boasted double digits in kills, posting 13, 11 and 10, respectively. The defensive side was led by first-year libero Caitlin Cremin and Applegate.

Cremin had 12 digs and Applegate contributed 11, while Safir and Fifer dished out 19 assists apiece.

“The most impressive part of this weekend was our mental toughness,” Coach Baker said. “Our non-verbals were very good and we really hung together in some tough moments. In order for us to reach our potential, we must continue to figure out how tough we can be.”

The Colgate volleyball team will travel to University Park, PA this weekend to compete in the Penn State Invite, where they will compete against Virginia Commonwealth, defending national champions Penn State and Seton Hall.

The first contest will begin on Friday, September 3, at 4:30 p.m.