Volleyball scores historic win

Alex Bolinger, Contributing Writer

Sunday was a special night in Davis gym as the Bison volleyball team ended a 48-match losing streak to American University. For the first time since 1996, the Bison beat the Eagles in dramatic fashion, going all the way to five sets before winning 3-2. It was also the first win under new head coach Tyler Hagstrom.

The win over American, a perennial Patriot League powerhouse, sets the tone for the rest of the season for the Bison. The first set of the match was a bit shaky, with the Bison trailing 21-17 at one point. A much needed seven-point Bison run led them taking the first set 25-22. After that the second set was taken by the American Eagles 25-23 in another close contest with the lead swinging back and forth between the two teams for the entire set. 

The third set went to the Orange and Blue after building a strong 8-2 cushion in the early stages of the set. Delanie Lewis ’21 set the tone for the third set as she recorded five of her 11 kills and had a hitting percentage of .354. The third set was closed by Anna Carroll ’21 as she posted the final kill of the set to take it 25-22. 

The fourth set was won by American 25-21, which led to a momentous fifth set. It was the first time that the two schools had gone into a fifth set since 2005. During the fifth set the Bison outperformed the Eagles in an impressive 15-11 win. Lisa Zoch ’23 and Lewis combined for a hitting percentage over .600 and combined for five kills. The Bison were leading 11-10 before going on a three-point run to seal the match. Lewis ended her impressive night with the final kill of the match to send the Eagles back to D.C. with their first loss of the season. 

“I felt absolutely on top of the world after we beat American because we truly competed and every single player on the team stepped up and contributed to the win,” Lewis said. Lewis, along with the rest of the team, rejoiced after the last point knowing that this was a monumental victory. 

Kelsey O’Loughlin ’23 and Valentina Feigl ’24 both also had impressive nights, combining for 16 kills and 13 blocks. The Bison will need everyone on the roster to play as well as they did Sunday to capture the Patriot League championship.

The win avenges the loss that the Bison had earlier in the week to American. The 3-1 loss on Friday was only used as motivation for Sunday’s victory. The Bison now sit at 1-1 on the year after splitting the two games with American this weekend. With a shortened schedule the Bison will have to use this victory to propel themselves the rest of the season with only six games remaining in the regular season. 

The Bison’s next opponent is Navy, who they will play this Friday, March 12 in Davis gym and then again on Sunday, March 14 in Annapolis, Md. The match is an important step in getting to the Patriot League semifinals. 

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