Volleyball Tied for First in Patriot League at 10-2

Colgate volleyball dominated on the road last weekend, gaining victories over Lafayette 3-1 and Lehigh 3-2. The Raiders’ record is now 10-2 in the Patriot League, tied with Army for first place standings, with two matches left in the regular season schedule.

Lafayette came out strong on their home court, winning the first match over Colgate 25-22. The Raiders bounced back, however, with some very strong attacks. Sophomore Kaylee Dougherty posted the team-high with 13, junior Logan Keala added 11, and 9 more were contributed by junior Casey Ritt. The Raiders were also on top of their serving game with an impressive 10 aces on the night, three by junior libero Devon Applegate, two from senior Kelsea Loveless, and the rest spread fairly evenly throughout the team. Applegate also picked up a team-high 15 digs during the match. Junior Meghan Fanta had 26 assists, and sophomore Blaire Safir chipped in with 18. Safir controlled the net defensively with 4 blocks, contributing to the team’s 16 blocks on the night.

The Raiders then travelled to Bethlehem, PA last Saturday to take on the Lehigh Mountain Hawks in what would play out as an exciting five-game battle, resulting in a victory for the Raiders. Lehigh took game one from Colgate 25-19, but again the Raiders fought their way back to win set number two, going neck-in-neck with the Mountain Hawks all the way up until the Raiders finally clinched the game at a score of 28-26. Unfortunately for Colgate, Lehigh was not going to give up easily, and the third set resulted in another loss for the Raiders. Down two sets to one, they rallied back and took game four by storm, 25-14, forcing a fifth set. Colgate won the race to 15, sealing the deal at 15-10.

The Colgate win over Lehigh was characterized by quite impressive statistics. Five players tallied double-digits in kills. At the forefront was first-year Kaleigh Durket with 14, directly followed by Keala and sophomore Maureen Colligan with 13 apiece. Right behind them were Dougherty and Ritt with 12 each. Digging during the Lehigh match was also phenomenal, with 75 total digs by the Raiders. Applegate reached a new personal best of 29 digs, while Keala chipped in with 12 and Durket added 10. Ritt recorded 5 blocks, while the assists were again taken care of by Fanta and Safir with 34 and 22, respectively. Applegate also set a personal best with 4 aces.

This weekend the Raiders will play American and Navy, both home at Cotterell Court. Friday night’s game against American will have serious Patriot League Tournament implications. If Colgate beats American this Friday, and top ranked Army loses, the Raiders would host this year’s Patriot League Tournament. In their last meeting, the Raiders defeated American 3-1.

Looking forward to this Friday’s match, Applegate said, “It’s very exciting. We’ve never been in this position before and we have the opportunity to do something special.”

But despite the team’s obvious excitement, the attitude in the locker room is still one of focus. “As exciting as Friday is, we are going to remain focused and try to keep playing the way we have all season,” Applegate added.

First-year Kaleigh Durket echoed Applegate’s sentiment. “The overall mood is excitement, and we have a huge opportunity,” Durket said. “With the Patriot League up in the air, anyone can take it, and it can definitely be us.”

If the Raiders can get past the Eagles on Friday, they will be in a good position taking on last ranked Navy on Saturday. Friday night’s match will be a Rowdy Raider game of the week, beginning at 7 p.m. at Cotterell Court.

Contact Gillian Scherz at [email protected].