LEWISBURG, Pa. – The Bucknell volleyball team concluded play at the Penn Invitational at the Palestra on Saturday, dropping a hard-fought five-set match to George Mason in the morning before losing 3-0 to tournament champion Howard in the evening.
Freshman Sophie Bullard was named to the all-tournament team for the Bison, joining Howard’s Khaila Donaldson (MVP) and Tamia Dockery, Penn’s Caroline Furrer and Courtney Quinn, George Mason’s Tiffany Clarke, and Lafayette’s Carly Kutschke.
Bullard led the team in kills with 32 over three matches, while also adding 36 digs and four total blocks. Both Bucknell players to earn all-tournament honors this season have been freshmen. Mimi Richards received the honor at the season-opening Bucknell Tournament.
The Bison dropped to 2-7 on the season, including three five-set losses. The 3-0 defeat to Howard was just their second time being swept this season.
George Mason 3, Bucknell 2 (16-25, 17-25, 25-19, 25-19, 15-11)
Bucknell rolled through the first two sets, posting wins of 25-16 and 25-17, but George Mason responded by taking the final three sets. The Patriots improved to 2-7 overall.
Bullard recorded her first career double-double, leading the Bison in kills with 11 and in digs with 17. Senior Jordan Walker tallied nine kills, while junior Hailey Stout and freshman Bridgette Holland contributed eight apiece. Bucknell finished with 11 blocks, led by six block assists from Holland and five from Stout.
Bucknell held George Mason to hitting percentages of -.129 in the first set and .056 in the second. That turned around with numbers of .255 in the third, .122 in the fourth and .281 in the fifth.
Mikala Wells was the key player in the win for the Patriots, finishing with 20 kills and 16 digs. Clarke tallied 14 kills, while Sydney Fanoga added 13.
The Bison just missed posting their first ever win over the Patriots, but dropped to 0-4 in the all-time series. The teams hadn’t met since playing twice in 1988.
Howard 3, Bucknell 0 (25-17, 25-22, 28-26)
Howard won the battle of the two Bison teams in straight sets with scores of 25-17, 25-22 and 28-26. It improved to 8-3 after going a perfect 4-0 at the event.
Bullard again led Bucknell in kills with nine and also led the team with 10 digs. Stout contributed four block assists, and Walker had two aces.
Donaldson helped solidify her tournament MVP honor with 19 kills and a .341 hitting percentage. Jessica Young chipped in with 12 kills.
The loss ended Bucknell’s three-match winning streak in the series with Howard. Bucknell had won the most recent meeting 3-2 in 2013.