Nov. 9, 2012
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Morgan Mientus led Bucknell with 14 kills and added 11 digs and Kristen Titley posted her own double-double with 10 kills and 10 digs, but the strong individual efforts were unable to keep Bison volleyball from falling in five sets to Navy at Annapolis, Md., on Friday night. The Midshipmen kept their postseason hopes alive with the 25-15, 21-25, 21-25, 25-15, 15-10 victory.
"We went up against a team tonight that had to win tonight to move forward and get closer to the championship. I thought they did a really good job for the entirety of the match, but we just couldn't finish after that fourth game," said head coach Cindy Opalski after the match. "Kristen Titley had a really nice night tonight both offensively and defensively as did Kat Tauscher. We'll try to go get one more tomorrow night, finish our season on a high note, finish our season with a win and hopefully put our younger players in a position to look forward to the future."
Bucknell (9-19, 3-10 PL) nearly came from one set down with two of their best frames on the night in the second and third. After hitting .179 in the first set, the Bison improved their attack percentage to .333 in the second and an even stronger .429 in the third.
The stats were evenly balanced in the second set with no Bison recording more than three kills. Mientus upped her production in the third, however, totaling five of her team-best 14 kills in that frame.
Bucknell led nearly the entire way in the second set with the lone exception being at 1-0 and when Navy (11-14, 7-6 PL) knotted things up at 18-18, The Bison never truly lost control, however, and Mientus closed out the set with back-to-back kills that evened the match. The third set followed a similar story with the Mids tying things up at 16 apiece before Bucknell rallied for nine of the final 14 points and took a 2-1 lead in the set count.
After looking as if it had the momentum, Bucknell started to see things slip away in the fourth set. Navy maintained a lead for nearly the entirety of the final two frames on some efficient hitting. The Mids closed out play with a .303 percentage for the night, including marks of .321 and .304 in the fourth and fifth sets, respectively. At the same time Bucknell's hitting percentages dropped to .133 and .143.
In addition to Mientus' and Titley's numbers, Kat Tauscher finished with 28 assists and Meghan Wentzel contributed 20 more. On the defensive side, Leylin Marroquin had 25 digs and Karen Campbell tallied two blocks.
Navy had four players with double-figure kills, including Erin Fortner who led all players with 18. Alex Karika likely maintained her place as the top setter in the Patriot League, totaling 56 assists, and Christy Rapp had 18 digs.
Bucknell will return to action tomorrow for its final match of the season. The Bison will take on American at 4 p.m. in Washington, D.C.