Bucknell Volleyball Battles Colgate, Just Misses Upset in Four Sets
Oct. 4, 2012
LEWISBURG, Pa. - Bucknell volleyball put forth one of its best efforts of the season but could not overcome the last remaining undefeated Patriot League team on Thursday night. The Bison fell in four sets to Colgate, 25-21, 27-29, 27-25, 25-26 at Davis Gym despite a career-high 15 kills from Claire Healy (Tiburon, Calif./Saint Ignatius College Prep) and 10 more from Karen Campbell (Chesapeake, Va./Cape Henry Collegiate).
"This is the best match we have played all season," said head coach Cindy Opalski after the match. "I told my athletes that if they are disciplined and determined we can compete with anyone in the league. We were committed to a specific game plan tonight and both our assistant coaches did an excellent job scouting Colgate's vulnerabilities. By shutting down their main attackers, were able to rattle Colgate tonight and take them out of their game plan."
Part of taking the Raiders (7-11, 5-0 PL) out of their game plan was a solid block from the Bucknell (6-12, 0-5 PL) defense. The Bison finished the night with 12 total team kills, including seven from Kebah Edoho (Odenton, Md./Arundel) and five from Campbell. Morgan Mientus (Chicago, Ill./Saint Ignatius College Prep) also had three blocks, all coming in the fourth set to help Bucknell in its comeback bid.
The Bison started the fourth set slowly, allowing the Raiders get out to an 11-2 lead. Colgate's play then began to slip and Bucknell kept up its attack so that the home team eventually got back within striking distance. The Bison ran off six straight points on Healy's serve, getting the score to 21-20 in favor of Colgate. During that stretch, Mientus and Edoho combined for two block assists and Mientus added two kills.
A third kill from Mientus saved one match point at 24-21 and the junior's third block gave the Bison a set point at 26-25. Bucknell could not close it, however, and Colgate clinched its league-leading fifth conference victory 28-26 in the fourth.
While Bucknell had battled throughout the night, the effort only showed in the score during the second set when it won 29-27. The Bison had led by just a few points throughout the beginning of that frame, but the Raiders made things more interesting as play wore on. Liz Karnes recorded a kill for 19-15, giving Colgate its largest advantage of the set. A few points later Diane Seely gave the Raiders a set point and a chance to go up 2-0 in the match, but a kill from Healy, a Colgate attack error and a service ace from Katie Price (Los Angeles, Calif./Harvard-Westlake) gave Bucknell a set point of its own. It took the Bison a second set point to capture the win, but Edoho made good on her attack, finishing the set with a kill fro 29-27.
Bucknell saw its attack percentage dip after that win, but Colgate also struggled to keep its offense up to its early highs. The Bison hit a match-best .147 in the first set and .146 in the second. Their attack percentage dropped below the .100 mark in the final two frames. The Raiders were .314 on the attack in the first set before being held to .085 in the second, .128 in the third and .103 in the fourth.
Healy's attack percentage of .302 was a high for Bucknell. The freshman, who has now set a career high in kills in each of her last two matches after totaling 14 last Sunday against Holy Cross, finished the night with 15 kills and two errors on 43 attack attempts. Also setting a team high was Kat Tauscher (Washington, D.C./National Cathedral School) with 21 assists. Tauscher recorded her third double-double of the season, adding 12 digs to her stat line. Price led the Bison with a career-best 18 digs.
Colgate placed four players in double-figure kills. Seely led the group with 12. Karnes added seven blocks to her 11 kills. Kaylee Fifer totaled 31 assists, and Caitlin Cremin had 19 digs.
Bucknell will return to action on Sunday in Bakersfield, Calif. The Bison will take on Cal State Bakersfield at 7 p.m. Eastern. They will then play No. 23 Pepperdine at 8 p.m. Eastern on Monday in Malibu, Calif.