EASTON, Pa. – Playing its second five-set match in less than 24 hours, the Bucknell volleyball team went on the road and outlasted Lafayette 3-2 at the Kirby Sports Center on Saturday. The Bison improved to 8-7 overall, eclipsing last season’s win total, and are 2-3 in the Patriot League. They defeated the Leopards by scores of 25-16, 21-25, 25-20, 27-29 and 15-7.
Bucknell has gone five sets in three of its five conference matches this season, posting a record of 2-1. In addition to the win over Lafayette, the Bison went the distance in a win over Navy and a loss to Lehigh. Their win over Lafayette dropped the Leopards to 10-5 overall and 2-2 in the Patriot League. One of the Leopards' league wins came over Lehigh.
Just one day after recording 47 assists in the loss to Lehigh, senior setter Meghan Wentzel set a career-high with 50 assists in the victory over Lafayette. She led the charge as four Bucknell players posted double-digit kills, including 17 by senior Karen Campbell. Junior Jordan Walker and sophomore Hailey Stout finished with 14 and 13 kills, respectively, while freshman Blake Buchholz accounted for 10.
Campbell started off slow with just two kills in the first two sets, but came alive when the team needed her most. She was especially impressive in the fifth and final set, factoring in on seven of the team’s 15 points with six kills and one block assist. She had 15 of her 17 kills and six of her eight total blocks in the final three sets.
Buchholz, Stout and Walker all finished with double-doubles in kills and digs. Buchholz led the team with 22 digs, while Stout had 16 and Walker contributed 15. In all, five Bucknell players had double-digit digs, including Wentzel with 12 and senior Katie Price with 10.
Bucknell had 13 total blocks. Junior Erika Eastley had five total, including one solo, and Wentzel added four block assists. The Bison ranked third in the Patriot League in blocks entering the match.
Freshman setter Maria Balus had a big match for Lafayette with 61 assists, 14 digs and two block assists. She has won the Patriot League Rookie of the Week honor in three of the past four weeks. Brianne Giangiobbe led the Leopards in kills with 23.
Bucknell will be back home in Davis Gym for its next match as it hosts Loyola (Md.) for a Patriot League contest on Friday. The match is scheduled for 7 p.m.