WASHINGTON, D.C. – Three different Bison contributed 10 kills over the course of the evening, but the Bucknell volleyball team suffered a 3-0 (25-19, 25-18, 25-16) setback to league-leading American in Patriot League play at Bender Arena on Friday. The Bison drop to 9-13 overall and 2-10 in the conference with the defeat, while the Eagles improve to 23-2 and 9-1 in the league.
“It was a better match then the stats show,” said head coach Anna Allison, “but I believe that it was not our best volleyball. With a young team the biggest challenge is to perform as well on the road as you do at home, and we are still learning to do that.”
Sophomore Karen Campbell, freshman Jordan Walker and senior Kristen Titley each notched 10 kills for Bucknell, while sophomore Meghan Wentzel contributed 17 assists to the offense. Senior Morgan Mientus led the defense with a match-high 14 digs, and Campbell, Walker and freshman Erika Eastley each made two blocks.
Kristyna Lindovska’s 17 kills led the Eagles’ attack, while Monika Smidova ran the offense with 41 assists. Juliana Crum and Megan Rosburg split the digging duties, notching 11 and 10 respectively, and Morgan Hendrix came up with five blocks for the American defense.
American jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first set of the match, but Bucknell pushed back emphatically, narrowing the score to 7-6 and keeping the Eagles on their toes. Although the squads exchanged points throughout the middle of the set, with American staying just a few points ahead, two aces and an attack error gave the Eagles a 23-17 advantage, their biggest lead. Titley managed two kills in the closing stretch, but two spikes by Crum gave American the 25-19 win.
The Bison played their strongest volleyball in the second set of the evening, working to an 11-8 lead over one of the top teams in the league. The Eagles quickly shifted the score however, scoring seven unanswered points to gain a 15-11 edge. A kill by Walker interrupted their flow, but American was still the first team to 20 on a Lindovska service ace. The Bison managed four kills as the set drew to a close, but the 25-18 win was sealed by a Lindovska kill.
After an early back-and-forth battle, American played to a 13-7 lead in third set before Bucknell used an ace by freshman Keane Brazda and two attack errors on the Eagles to come within two. The home team took seven of the next nine points to take a 20-13 advantage however, and played through three Bison kills to take a 25-16 victory and win the match.
Bucknell will continue its Patriot League weekend on the road on Saturday afternoon, heading to Annapolis to battle Navy at 4 p.m.