LEWISBURG, Pa. – Freshman Bridgette Holland tallied 14 kills and eight total blocks to lead Bucknell to a 3-1 upset win over visiting Lehigh in Patriot League volleyball action Friday night at Davis Gym. The Bison dropped the first set 25-17, but responded with three straight wins, 25-21, 25-22, 25-17.
Bucknell improved to 5-18 overall and 3-8 in the Patriot League while ending a seven-match losing streak to Lehigh that dated back to 2012. The Bison played the part of spoiler in the postseason race, dropping the Mountain Hawks to 12-14 overall and 7-5 in the conference. The Mountain Hawks entered the match in a tie for the fourth and final spot in the Patriot League Championship with six matches to play.
“Our motto is ‘as one,’ meaning every single player has a role on this team and needs to have high energy during the match,” said Bucknell head coach Anna Allison. “We did that tonight and it helped us get the win. It was a total team effort.”
Holland continued her phenomenal rookie season for the Bison, totaling her 14 kills on 26 attacks with a .423 hitting percentage. Her eight total blocks, including one solo, helped the team finish with 13 over four sets. Fellow freshman middle blocker Mimi Richards contributed one solo and four block assists, while senior Jordan Walker had four block assists.
After a loss in the first set, Bucknell stole momentum by coming out strong in the second. The Bison scored the first four points to force a Lehigh timeout, and then added two more to go up 6-0. The Mountain Hawks chipped away and eventually tied the match at 17-17, but a kill by Holland gave the Bison the lead for good as they went on to win 25-21. Holland had four kills in the set, while freshman Sophie Bullard added three.
Senior Hailey Stout and Bullard came through with four kills in the third set to help Bucknell go up 2-1 with a 25-22 victory. It was Lehigh that went up 4-0 and forced a Bucknell timeout this time, but the Bison quickly responded, eventually taking a 10-9 lead with a block by Holland and junior Luz Nagle. The set included four lead changes, but Bullard clinched it for the home team with a kill.
With the score tied 12-12 in the fourth set, Bucknell pulled away with a 7-1 run. The Bison went on to win handily 25-17 behind six kills on 11 attacks from Holland.
Bullard recorded her sixth double-double of the season with 11 kills and 10 digs. Senior Kristen Parks led the team with 18 digs, while freshman Selby Schnobrich contributed 25 assists. Walker finished with eight kills, and Stout added seven.
Lehigh was paced by Julia Pressly with 12 kills. Megan Polak had 41 assists, and Emily Develle registered 17 digs.
Bucknell returns to action with a match at Lafayette on Saturday at 5 p.m. The Leopards are 3-18 overall and 1-10 in the conference.