Bucknell Volleyball has Winning Streak Halted at Five with 3-0 Loss to American
Nov. 10, 2006
WASHINGTON, D.C. - After posting five straight victories, the Bucknell volleyball team saw its winning streak come to an end as the squad dropped a 3-0 decision to American in Patriot League action in Bender Arena on Friday evening. The Bison fell to 18-11, 9-4 in the Patriot League following the loss, while the Eagles improved to 22-6, 13-0 in league matches.
Sophomore Emilie Hardinge (Darien, Conn./Darien) was the lone member of the Orange and Blue to reach double figures in kills as she led Bucknell with 10. Senior Amanda Grossmann (Allentown, Pa./Parkland) followed with six kills and classmate Jennie Smith (Roanoke, Va./Patrick Henry) recorded five kills, two service aces and three block assists. Senior Kristen Sydlowski (Bethlehem, Pa./Liberty) compiled a match-best 12 digs and sophomore Shannon Pitsch (Oak Brook, Ill./Fenwick) finished with 23 assists and seven digs.
For American, Rubena Sukaj headed up the attack with 17 kills, six service aces, five blocks and seven digs. Chelsa Brooks added 11 kills and hit .529 (11-2-17) with three blocks and seven digs. Elizabeth Maloney totaled 10 kills and hit .625 without and error in 16 attempts and setters Christina Nash and Maile Krauss contributed assist totals of 21 and 14, respectively, while Tara Stradling led the squad with eight digs.
After Bucknell went in front 2-0 at the start of game one, the Eagles responded with a 7-2 run and went on to take the opener by a 30-17 margin. In game two, the Bison found themselves down 14-0 and were unable to recover as American went up 2-0 in the match with a 30-15 victory.
The Orange and Blue led game three, 11-2 from the outset, however, the Eagles managed to erase the deficit and pull within two at 17-15, prompting a Bucknell timeout. Then with the Bison in front 20-19, American rallied to take its first lead of the frame by tallying nine straight points and closed out the contest by winning game three, 30-23.
"American played an outstanding match and we didn't step up to the challenge," said Bucknell head coach Cindy Opalski. "But hopefully we learned some lessons about playing under pressure and dealing with adversity and hopefully those will translate into a better performance if we face the Eagles again in the postseason."
The Bison will wrap up the regular season tomorrow evening, Nov. 11, when the team will face Navy in Annapolis, Md., beginning at 7 p.m.