LEWISBURG, Pa. – After battling through a grueling five-set match with Army on Friday night, the Bucknell volleyball team returned to Davis Gym with determination on Saturday, playing to a 3-1 (25-23, 21-25, 25-19, 25-21) win over Holy Cross. The victory lifts the Bison to 8-12 overall and 2-9 in conference play, while the Crusaders fall to 7-16 and 2-8 in Patriot League action with the loss.
"It was great to see us come back tonight and earn a win," said head coach Anna Allison. "It was a testament to the fact that we will always fight, whether we are winning or losing, and that is all you can ask for as a coach. The team truly gave 100 percent today, especially after such an emotional and hard fought match last night against Army."
Senior Jessica Serrato, who tallied a match-high 14 kills, was joined by freshman Jordan Walker with 11 kills and freshman Erika Eastley with 10 kills to pace a Bucknell attack that hit .214 in the match. Senior Rose Lewis handed out an impressive 32 assists, while sophomore Katie Price contributed 19 digs to the Bison defense. Eastley also added five blocks to the team’s strong performance.
Alex Aycock garnered 13 kills for Holy Cross in the match, while Katie McKernan dished out 28 assists. Emily Popp recorded a match-high 20 digs, and Kamele Shizuru patrolled the net for five blocks.
Bucknell took the first set, 25-23, after a back-and-forth affair that saw the Bison rally back from an early 10-5 deficit to overcome the Crusaders for the victory. Holy Cross maintained the lead at 21-17, but Bucknell snatched the next four points to tie things up at 21. Kills by sophomore Karen Campbell, Walker and Serrato finished the Crusaders off, giving the Bison a 1-0 lead in the match.
The second set was also a point-for-point battle, but this time things went in favor of the visitors by a 25-21 margin. Bucknell built an early 14-6 lead over Holy Cross, but the Crusaders answered with seven consecutive points to come within one at 14-13. Three ties down the stretch gave way to a 21-20 Holy Cross advantage and, in spite of Bucknell’s best efforts, the Crusaders capped the set with a kill to tie the match 1-1.
The Bison took the lead from the very first point of the third set and never relinquished it, taking down the Crusaders 25-19 in spite of their late surge. An Eastley kill gave Bucknell a 22-15 lead as the match wound down, but Holy Cross grabbed the next three points to come within four. Senior Kristen Titley and Campbell each hammered down a kill to bring the Bison to match point, and a service error by the opposition put Bucknell one set away from the match victory.
Bucknell stormed ahead early in the fourth set, capitalizing on a Holy Cross error to take an 18-13 lead, but the Crusaders rallied, grabbing the next five points to tie the set at 18. The teams exchanged tallies to knot things up again, 19-19, but a kill and service ace from Titley combined with a kill from Eastly gave the Bison a 22-19 edge. Holy Cross didn’t go quietly, but Bucknell stood strong in the final points, earning the 25-21 set win and a 3-1 match triumph.
Bucknell takes to the road for two Patriot League games next weekend, traveling to Washington, D.C. for a 7 p.m. contest with American on Friday, Nov. 1 before heading to Annapolis, Md. on Saturday, Nov. 2 for a 4 p.m. match with Navy.