Sept. 15, 2012

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LEWISBURG, Pa. - Bucknell volleyball claimed its first three-set win of the year, defeating Providence 25-22, 25-11, 25-16 at Davis Gym on Saturday afternoon. The decision also gave Bison head coach Cindy Opalski her 400th career victory. Bucknell will finish its home tournament against Quinnipiac today at 5 p.m.

Kat Tauscher (Washington, D.C./National Cathedral School) collected her first career double-double with 19 assists and 10 assists. The senior nearly had the team high in both categories but finished one dig behind Morgan Mientus' (Chicago, Ill./Saint Ignatius College Prep) 11.

Eight of Mientus' digs came in the first set, which turned out to be the closest one between Bucknell (5-7) and Providence (1-16). The score remained tight throughout that opening frame until Katie Price (Los Angeles, Calif./Harvard-Westlake) helped the Bison put some distance between them and their opponent. Bucknell got five straight points with Price at the service line, taking the score from 10-9 to 15-9.

Although Providence got the score differential back down to one at 19-18, it never took the lead. Bucknell soon took a one-set lead after Kebah Edoho (Odenton, Md./Arundel) converted on a set point with her second kill of the frame.

Only Edoho and Jessica Serrato (Millbrae, Calif./Saint Ignatius College Prep) had more than one kill after the first set as the offense was evenly distributed down the roster. The Bison maintained that trend until the end. Serrato led with eight kills at the end of the match, while Edoho had six and Karen Campbell (Chesapeake, Va./Cape Henry Collegiate) and Hannah Young (McConnellsburg, Pa./Broadfording Christian Academy (Md.)) each had four.

Bucknell's hitting percentage improved greatly in the second, going from .089 to .318. The effort paid off in what was its biggest win of the match at 25-11. The Bison put together more than one run that took the air out of the Friars' tires. Four times Bucknell was able to string together at least four points. One of those stretches resulted in a 20-9 lead for the Bison, their largest of the day.

The third set went much the same way with Bucknell taking a 10-point lead late in the action. Campbell and Sarah Morris (Marietta, Ga./Pope) teamed up for a block assist to make it 21-11 and the rest was smooth sailing. Kristen Titley (Coral Gables, Fla./Palmer Trinity School) capped it all off with her third kill of the set and the Bison had their first home victory of the year.

Bucknell's blocking game played an integral part in the victory. The Bison tallied 11, led by Edoho with eight.

Opalski, who now has a record of 400-382, and the Bison will complete their run at the Bucknell Tournament later today. They will face off against Quinnipiac at 5 p.m. Quinnipiac claimed its first win of the season in a five-set decision over Providence last night.