LEWISBURG, Pa. – The Bucknell volleyball team ended a six-match losing streak to Navy with a five-set win Friday night at Davis Gym. The Bison improved to 7-5 overall and 1-1 in the Patriot League with their first win over the Mids since 2011.
Despite the losing streak, Bucknell’s matches with Navy have been highly competitive. The teams have developed a rivalry with their exciting matches, as four of the past seven have gone five sets, including both of last season’s contests.
Jordan Walker closed Friday’s match with a kill off an assist from Karen Campbell to give Bucknell a 15-10 win in set five. Every set was close as the teams traded wins. The Bison took the first set 25-23, lost 28-26 in the second and won 25-21 in set three. The Mids tied the match with a 25-22 victory in the fourth set, but the Bison hung on with solid play in the fifth.
“In the beginning we thought we were playing very well, but you never really thing you’re cruising with them because we’re very even teams and Larry (Bock) is a great coach,” said Bucknell head coach Anna Allison. “We have been talking to our players about playing to the final whistle. We made some plays when we needed to.”
Walker was one of three players on Bucknell with double-digit kills, tying Blake Buchholz for the team lead with 13. Campbell tallied 12 while Hailey Stout finished with six. Campbell did a significant amount of damage with her defensive play at the net, registering 10 total blocks, including five solo. The Bison finished with 19 blocks as a team.
Numerous Bucknell players contributed in a variety of ways, including setter Meghan Wentzel with her 39 assists. Four players recorded double-digit digs, led by Buchholz and Stout with 16 apiece, 11 from Katie Price and 10 by Walker. Stout also served for three of the team’s five aces.
Maggie Phillips paced Navy (2-12, 0-1 PL) with 16 kills and three block assists. Allison Latham gave the Bison trouble with her serves, finishing with four aces while also contributing 10 kills and four block assists. The Mids made the Patriot League Tournament as the third seed last season and were predicted to finish four this year.
Bucknell is home again on Saturday as it hosts American at 5 p.m. The Eagles are the two-time defending champions in the Patriot League and were picked to win it again this season.