LEWISBURG, Pa. – The Bucknell volleyball team concluded its 2013 campaign on Saturday afternoon, battling Loyola through a fifth set, but falling 3-2 (25-22, 22-25, 21-25, 25-21, 11-15) in an evenly-matched and hard-fought contest. The Bison finish their season with a 10-16 overall record and a 3-13 Patriot League mark, while the Greyhounds improve to 8-20 overall and 5-11 in conference action.
“It was a good match,” said head coach Anna Allison after the final contest of her first year at the helm of the program. “We would have liked to end the season with a win, but our senior class played hard. They fought to the last point, and they will be greatly missed next year. Our underclassmen have learned valuable lessons from them and throughout the season, and we will continue to build for the future.”
Senior Morgan Mientus led the way for Bucknell with 13 kills, while classmate Jessica Serrato hit an impressive .312 with seven tallies. Senior Rose Lewis added 21 assists to the Bison offense, while sophomore Katie Price’s 23 digs and sophomore Karen Campbell’s five blocks backstopped the defense.
The Lukas sisters led Loyla’s attacking game, with Faye tallying 24 kills and Jane adding 16 of her own. Lauren Anderson filled the setting duties, contributing 51 assists, while Kara Schiffer picked up 29 digs. Mindy Maloney served as a threat at the net, making seven blocks in the contest.
The teams played neck-and-neck in the first set of the night, with neither team able to score more than three points in a row before its opponent came storming back. The two squads tied the score on 16 different occasions before consecutive kills by Mientus and Serrato gave the Bison a slight 20-18 lead. The Greyhounds came back to knot things up at 22, but kills by Campbell and Mientus put Bucknell up 24-22, and an attack error on Loyola sealed the 25-22 win.
The second set featured an equally even battle, with Loyola take a 3-0 lead early on and Bucknell storming back to tie it up at 4-4. The two squads continued to exchange points, but the Greyhounds pulled away 15-9 after a series of six unanswered points. The Bison continued to challenge down the stretch, pulling within three on a kill by Mientus and then capitalizing on two attack errors by Loyola to close the gap even more, but a kill by Lukas gave the Greyhounds a 25-22 win in the set and tied the match.
After playing to a 12-12 tie in the third, the Bison took control of the second half of set, using a 6-3 run to take an 18-15 lead over the Greyhounds. The home squad battled back however, scoring six consecutive points late in the set to grab a two-point advantage over Bucknell. The Bison snuck another point in, but two kills and a service ace gave the Greyhounds a 25-21 victory and a 2-1 advantage in the match.
Bucknell came storming back in the fourth set, jumping out to a 13-9 lead over Loyola and preserving the advantage through the final point. The Greyhounds came within one on four different occasions, but the Bison refused to be outdone, using a kill by freshman Erika Eastley to go up by three and earning a 25-21 win on two attack errors by the Greyhounds, forcing a tiebreaker set.
The fifth set was as equal as the first four, with Bucknell taking a 4-2 lead early and Loyola scoring five unanswered points to jump ahead 7-4. A kill by senior Kristen Titley narrowed the gap to 9-7, but the Bison could not find a way past the Greyhounds down the stretch, as the home team used three kills to take the 15-11 set win and the match victory.