LEWISBURG, Pa. – Bucknell won the first two sets, but couldn’t quite finish off Colgate, falling 3-2 in a Patriot League volleyball match Monday afternoon at Davis Gym. The Bison posted 26-24 and 25-17 victories in the first two sets before the Raiders responded with 25-23, 25-9, 15-9 wins to clinch the match.

Colgate improved to 9-9 overall and 5-2 in the Patriot League, winning for the 12th straight time in the series with Bucknell. The Bison, who started five freshmen, dropped to 4-14 overall and 2-4 in league play, but were the most competitive against the Raiders that they have been in years.  They pushed the match to five sets for the first time since winning 3-2 in 2010.

Bucknell trailed 24-23 in the first set before rallying for three straight points to take the early lead. Junior Hailey Stout kept the Bison alive with a set-tying kill, and sophomore Blake Buchholz gave them a 25-24 lead with a kill on the next point. Junior Jenna Slusar, who served for the final three points, clinched the set with an ace.

The Bison took set two with an even bigger run. With the score tied at 17-all, they scored the final eight points. Buchholz served for the final eight points, and the set was again clinched with an ace. One match after tallying 10 aces in a four-set win, the Bison added five against the Raiders, including three by Slusar.

Bucknell was competitive in the third set, putting itself in good position to record a sweep, but Colgate prevailed with the two-point win. The more experienced Raiders team controlled the entire fourth and fifth sets on their way to the victory.

Freshman Sophie Bullard registered her second straight double-double for the Bison, finishing with a career-high 19 kills and 15 digs. Her .302 hitting percentage was the highest of any of her five matches with double-digit kills this season.

Buchholz just missed a double-double with 18 kills and nine digs. Freshman Selby Schnobrich and junior Luz Nagle contributed 22 assists apiece, while freshman Brooke Stark did her part with a team-high 17 digs.

Kathleen Harris, the Preseason Patriot League Player of the Year, led Colgate with 20 kills and 10 digs. Katie Stebbins and Jaelah Hutchison finished with 12 kills apiece.

The Bison will host a pair of Patriot League opponents this weekend. They will play Army West Point on Friday at 7 p.m., and Holy Cross on Saturday at 5 p.m. Both matches will be played at Davis Gym.