Bucknell Volleyball Ends Regular Season with 3-0 Loss to Army
Nov. 13, 2010
LEWISBURG, Pa. - Bucknell volleyball did its share of hanging around, but despite playing three tightly contested sets, the Bison were unable to upset Army at Davis Gym on Saturday night. The Black Knights closed out the regular season with a straight sets victory (25-20, 25-21, 25-20), dropping the Bison's record to 10-16 overall and 8-6 in the Patriot League heading into the postseason.
Although the match's outcome had no impact on the Patriot League standings - both squads had already qualified for the league's tournament and neither could improve its seeding - fans saw a high-energy battle from the get-go.
The opening set began plenty of back-and-forth play, resulting in six early ties. Army (18-13, 11-3) took over the lead at 8-7 with a Bucknell service error, but it could not make a definitive move to steal total control. The Black Knights' advantage hovered around three points for the rest of the first-set action. A service ace from Brittany Jensen put them up 22-17, the biggest lead to that point. Despite four kills from Katie Baumgarten (South Pasadena, Calif./South Pasadena) in the set, Bucknell fell 25-20 having never gotten any closer than four points down the stretch.
Army did seize momentum to start the second set. Strong serving from Francine Vasquez helped turn a two-point deficit for the Black Knights into a five-point advantage during a stretch in which they claimed eight of nine points. Bucknell tried to respond by taking the next three points as Ragin Jackson (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y./Hendrick Hudson) and Baumgarten posted kills, but it was not the kind of statement the home team needed to get back in front.
The Bison stayed close but an inability to put together more than just a few points at a time kept them in the trail position. Baumgarten and Heidi Kamp (Eugene, Ore./Henry D. Sheldon) made a push at the end, but the team ran out of time, falling 25-20 and two sets down.
The final set looked as if it were going to be more of Army jumping out to an early insurmountable lead. The Black Knights took a 5-1 advantage as Vasquez and Amanda Rowell each tallied two kills and the team added an ace. Kamp and Kristen Titley (Coral Gables, Fla./Palmer Trinity School) pushed the Bison back into contention, however. Kamp had two kills, Titley added a third and the duo teamed up for a block that tied the set at five apiece.
Jackson gave Bucknell the lead with a kill for 7-6. Although the score was knotted up twice more shortly after, the Bison eventually pulled in front at 13-9. That push included four consecutive points in which Jackson and Rachel Rodriguez (Sagamore Hills, Ohio/Walsh Jesuit) recorded a block, Baumgarten followed with a kill and Titley added an ace. Rodriguez capped off the mini-run with her first of two kills in the set.
Army showed why it is one of the best teams in the Patriot League as the match began to wind down. The Black Knights claimed seven of eight points to retake the lead at 19-16 and, although the Bison re-tied the set twice more shortly after, they managed to hold on down the stretch for another five-point win.
Baumgarten ultimately finished the match with a team-best nine kills and 12 digs. Jackson, Kamp and Kyleigh McAhren (Napa, Calif./Justin-Siena) added six kills apiece. Rodriguez totaled 18 assists.
Army's Ariana Mankus and Megan Wilton each finished with 10 kills, and Karyn Powell added 38 asists and 16 digs.
Bucknell's season will continue next weekend when it travels to Washington, D.C., for the Patriot League Tournament. The fourth-seeded Bison will open with No. 1 American at Bender Arena on Nov. 20. The winner will take on either Army or Colgate in the championship match on Nov. 21.