Volleyball Sweeps Bucknell

Gillian Scherz

The women’s volleyball team faced off against Bucknell in a thrilling match on Saturday night that culminated in a Raider victory, 27-25, 25-20, and 25-22. Colgate is now 8-2 in the Patriot League, with a secure spot in the PL Tournament. Bucknell’s record dropped to 4-6 in the Patriot League.

“It is very exciting to have  clinched a spot in the Patriot League Tournament with two weeks left of regular season,” Head Coach Ryan Baker said. “This is the first time in 8 years that we have clinched so early. However, we still have some room for improvement before the tournament. We know we need to be at our best in two weeks if we plan to win it all”

The Raiders came out slow in the first set, trailing until 21-17. Upon that deficit, Colgate determined to take over, and really began putting the ball down on the Bucknell court. Strong attacks by first-year Kaleigh Durket and sophomore Kaylee Dougherty pushed the score to a tie at 22-22, and then the two teams vied neck-in-neck until Colgate finally sealed the deal at 27-25, thanks to an error by the shaken-up Bison, which could certainly be credited to powerful kills by sophomore Maureen Colligan and junior Casey Ritt on the previous plays.

“I was extremely happy with the composure we showed at crucial moments throughout the match,” Coach Baker said. “In the past few weeks, we have really started showing signs of maturity. We don’t let one bad play affect us which is a must in the game of volleyball.”

Game two went more smoothly for Colgate, as they captured a 25-20 win. The third set, however, demanded another comeback for Colgate, as they were down six points to the Bison at 14-8. Again the Raiders rallied back, however, this time attributing the boost to five consecutive serves from junior Logan Keala, including one ace. The game was tied again at 20-20, and then Colgate took the lead and the match, 25-22.

“This was one of the biggest road wins of the year.  Bucknell had approximately 700 fans at the match and had a lot more at stake than we did, but that did not affect our team’s mentality,” Coach Baker said.

Defensively, the Raiders were critically solid all night, posting 45 defensive digs as a team, with junior libero Devon Applegate responsible for the team-high 13 digs. Durket followed up with 12, and Keala with 8. Dougherty defended the net with one solo block and three block assists.

The evening’s attacks were led by Colligan, who boasted a match-high 13 kills. Durket chipped in nine kills, Dougherty eight, and Ritt seven, as well. Senior and captain Meghan Fanta brought it all together with 30 assists, and sophomore Blaire Safir added 8.

“Meghan Fanta did a great job with her setting choices,” Coach Baker said. “She really brought a calm to the court at key times.”

The Raiders hit the road again this weekend to face off against Lafayette on Friday and Lehigh on Saturday. The opponents are ranked sixth and fourth in the Patriot League, respectively.