BALTIMORE, Md. – Bucknell went on the road the day after a loss and responded with a big win in a Patriot League match at Loyola (Md.) on Sunday, defeating the Greyhounds 3-1 (25-23, 21-25, 25-22, 25-23) at Reitz Arena. In a matchup of two of the most improved teams in the league, the Bison improved to 9-9 overall and 3-3 in the league, while the Greyhounds fell to 8-11 overall and 2-4 in the conference.
“This was a solid team effort,” Bucknell head coach Anna Allison said. “After facing a very strong Navy team on Saturday, it was a big deal for us to come back and play together as a team. We regrouped, focused, and stayed together as one throughout the match. We are very happy with our growth.”
The turning point of the match came very early as Bucknell erased a seven-point deficit to take the first set. Trailing 20-13, the Bison started their comeback with a 5-0 run to cut the deficit to two points. Sophomore Sophie Bullard had three kills during the run, while sophomore Brooke Stark served for four points.
With Loyola leading 22-20, Bucknell scored five of the final six points to take a 1-0 lead in the match. Sophomore Mimi Richards tied the set at 22-all with back-to-back kills off assists from senior Luz Nagle. The Greyhounds regained the lead before the Bison closed the set by scoring on two attack errors and a block by Barker and freshman Anna Carroll.
Loyola took the second set, but Bucknell evened its overall and league records with wins in sets three and four. The Bison didn’t need a comeback in either of the final two sets as they took the lead early and never trailed in either. The closed a 25-22 win in set three with a kill by Barker, and finished off a 25-23 win in set four on an attack error by the Greyhounds.
Richards finished with 12 kills on .375 hitting and added six total blocks. Barker tallied seven kills on .333 hitting and added three total blocks, while Bullard registered a double-double with 12 kills and 15 digs.
Nagle led the Bison in assists with 21. Stark shared the team lead with Richards with two aces, and also led the team in digs with 19.
Loyola’s Molly Jarvis finished with a match-high 15 kills, while Anna Ernst was right behind her with 13.
Loyola was coming off a week in which it recorded wins over Army West Point and Colgate, the teams picked to finish second and third in the Patriot League. Both the Greyhounds and Bison have already eclipsed their respective win totals from last season.
Up next for Bucknell is a pair of home matches against conference opponents. The Bison host American on Friday at 7 p.m., and Holy Cross on Saturday at 5 p.m.