WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Bucknell volleyball team earned a win in its final non-conference game of the season on Tuesday evening, taking a 3-2 victory (21-25, 25-22, 25-19, 21-25, 19-17) over Howard in a marathon match in Burr Gymnasium. Bucknell lifts its overall record to 8-9 (1-6 Patriot League) with the triumph, while Howard falls to 15-7 (5-1 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) with the loss.
“We did not have our best showing tonight,” said head coach Anna Allison, “but we were able to overcome a somewhat hostile environment and stay united as a team to earn the win. Overall, it was a good return from fall break and I hope that the momentum can carry us forward through the weekend.”
Freshman Jordan Walker lead the team in kills for the second consecutive match, notching 13 in 28 attempts, while sophomore Karen Campbell also played a crucial role in the team’s offense, compiling 11 kills and hitting a match-high .429. Freshman Keane Brazda contributed 19 assists, while senior Morgan Mientus tallied 13 digs. Freshman Erika Eastley served as a threatening presence at the net for the Bison, making a match-high nine blocks over the course of the evening.
Bucknell took the first point of the match, but Howard used an early seven point run to jump out to a 14-7 lead in the first set. The squad maintained its advantage to 17 points, but a five point run on Eastley’s serve brought Bucknell within two, narrowing the score to 17-15. The teams battled back and forth down the stretch, but Howard used a kill and a service ace to take the 25-21 win.
The second set saw each team fighting for a commanding lead, with Bucknell using a five point run to jump ahead 9-7, but Howard battled right back, tying the score 13-13 midway through. Bucknell stayed just one step ahead of Howard however, using a kill by Eastley and several attack errors by its opponent to take the 25-22 win and even the match.
Bucknell owned the beginning off the third set, taking a 13-7 lead over Howard with a series of kills by Campbell. The teams exchanged points in the middle of the match, as Howard narrowed Bucknell’s lead to two at 19-17, but four consecutive kills by Walker sealed a 25-19 win for the Bison, giving them a 2-1 advantage in the match.
With the fourth set tied at 12-12, Howard scored nine of the next 11 points to take a 20-14 lead over Bucknell. The Bison refused to give up easily however, earning the next three points to narrow the home team’s advantage to three. Howard put down four kills to get to match-point and, even though the Bison responded with three points of their own, tied the match with a 25-21 win in the fourth set.
Determined to clinch the victory in the marathon match, Bucknell took an early 6-1 lead and fended off all advances from Howard, battling through eight ties to take a 19-17 win on two kills by Mientus. The victory earned Bucknell a hard-fought triumph in its final non-conference game of the season.
Howard’s Katherine Broussard had a match-high 27 kills in the loss, while Assata Conway hit .429 with 18 kills of her own. Stephanie Shultis assisted on 57 of the team’s 68 kills, while Allyson Lods contributed 17 digs.
Bucknell will return home to Davis Gym on Friday, Oct. 18 for a 7 p.m. match against Colgate, the defending Patriot League champion, before heading out to Hamilton, N.Y. to complete the series with the Raiders on Tuesday, Oct. 22.