PITTSBURGH, Pa. – It was about as close and evenly matched as a four-set match could be, but the Bucknell volleyball team prevailed 3-1 over Coppin State in its first contest at the Robert Morris/Duquesne Invitational on Friday. The match, which was played at Duquesne’s A.J. Palumbo Center, didn’t have a set decided by more than two points, with the Bison coming out on top 26-24, 25-27, 28-26, 25-23.
Blake Buchholz had a double-double with 21 kills and 12 digs while helping Bucknell up its record to 2-2. Coppin State received a great effort by Bailee Jackson with 21 kills and a .353 hitting percentage, but fell to 0-5 on the year. The Eagles are 0-2 against Patriot League opponents, losing 3-1 to Navy on the season-opening weekend.
Buchholz’s kill total came with a .391 hitting percentage, which fueled the team to a .280 clip. Junior Hailey Stout gave the Bison two double-doubles with 16 kills and 18 digs, while senior Jordan Walker and freshman Bridgette Holland joined them with double-digit kills with 10 apiece. Freshman Selby Schnobrich continued to impress with a career-high 58 assists, reigning Patriot League Rookie of the Week Mimi Richards added four blocks to her league-leading total, and senior Kristen Parks tallied 15 digs while playing in two sets.
Bucknell scored the final two points to take the first set. With the score tied 24-24, Stout and Buchholz delivered back-to-back kills, both assisted by Schnobrich, to five the Bison the early momentum. They hit .386 for the set.
After the close loss in the second set, Bucknell responded with a thrilling victory in the third set. The Bison staved off set point twice before a Coppin State attack error and a kill by Buchholz gave them a 2-1 lead. They nearly matched their efficiency of the first set, hitting .364.
It was only fitting that the fourth and final set went down to the wire, too. And just like its other set wins, Bucknell scored the final two points. Buchholz gave the Bison a 24-23 lead with a kill, and Stout clinched the match with her 16th kill.
Guro Froberg had a double-double for Coppin State, finishing with 12 kills and 17 digs.
Bucknell continues play in the invitational with two games on Saturday. The Bison will play at Duquesne at 2 p.m., and at Robert Morris at 7 p.m.