EASTON, Pa. – The Bucknell volleyball team came out strong in its match against Lafayette on Sunday, grabbing a 25-21 win in the first set, but ultimately fell 3-1 to the Leopards at the Kirby Sports Center. The loss drops the Bison to 6-9 overall and 0-6 in Patriot League action, while Lafayette improves to 9-7 overall and 1-4 in conference play.
"Every weekend we see great moments," said head coach Anna Allison. "We need to be able to bring it together and work through each match more consistantly, but this team does not give up
easily and works hard together. We will get back in the gym tomorrow and keep moving forward."
Sophomore Karen Campbell led the Bucknell offense with 10 kills, while senior Rose Lewis contributed 19 assists for the second consecutive game. Both Lewis and freshman Keane Brazda played a role in the Bison’s strong serving game, each tallying three service aces, while sophomore Katie Price continued to be a defensive force, collecting 30 digs. Freshman Erika Eastley had a strong overall performance, hitting .375 with eight kills, two service aces and three blocks.
Lafayette earned the first four points of the match, but Bucknell grabbed six of the next seven to take a 7-6 lead. The Leopards rallied back however, building to an 11-8 advantage, but the Bison proceeded to earn the next six points, capped by two Brazda aces, to surge ahead 14-11. Bucknell would never relinquish that edge, leading by as many as five points, and the squad used a kill from Eastley to seal its 25-21 win in the first set.
Senior Kristen Titley opened the second with a kill, but Lafayette responded quickly as the teams would trade points in a set that saw the score tied on 15 different occasions. The Bison took a 13-11 lead on two kills by Campbell and one by senior Hannah Young, but the Leopards responded by taking eight of the next nine points to build a 19-14 advantage. Bucknell came right back, scoring six straight to go up by one, and later used a Titley kill to draw even at 24, but Lafayette capitalized on a kill and an attack error to earn a hard-fought 26-24 win and even the match.
The Bison raced out to a 14-9 lead in the third set, using eight kills and two service aces to control the early action with strong offense. The Leopards came storming back however, scoring ten of the next 11 points to take a 19-15 advantage. A Titley kill and Lafayette missteps brought Bucknell within two, but the Leopards scored five straight to take a 25-18 victory.
With the match on the line, Bucknell remained within striking distance in the fourth, tying the game 4-4 early on, but was unable to take the lead over Lafayette. A kill by Titley and an ace by freshman Jordan Walker brought the Bison within two, but the Leopards took seven of the next ten points to build a 19-13 lead. Bucknell grabbed four last minute kills as the team fought to the final point, but Lafayette sealed a 25-18 win with a kill to take the match.
Karissa Ciliento led the attack for Lafayette, tallying 14 kills over the course of the afternoon. Samantha Volk assisted on 46 of the team’s 58 kills, and Lauren Pisauro compiled 40 digs. Danielle Towslee and Brianne Gianglobbe led a 12 block effort by the Leopards, each putting up five in the match.
Bucknell returns to Davis Gym for another conference matchup next weekend, as the Bison look to overcome Patriot League newcomer Loyola in a 7:00 p.m. contest on Friday, Oct. 11.