Eastley enters top-five record book for women’s volleyball

Scott Goldstein, Contributing Writer

The women’s volleyball team traveled to Pittsburgh and Moon Township, Pa., to compete in the Duquesne/Robert Morris Invitational. On Sept. 2, the Orange and Blue began their weekend’s endeavors by playing against Coppin State and Erika Eastley ’17 ended the weekend with a move up on the Bison’s list for all-time blocks and assists .

With the score tied 24-24 in the first set, Blake Buchholz ’19 and Hailey Stout ’18 provided back-to-back kills in order to provide the Bison with the two points they needed to clinch the first set 26-24. Despite a strong start, the Orange and Blue were not able to win the close second set, losing 25-27. In the third set, the team was able to fend off two set points and clinch the third set 28-26, thanks to a kill by Buchholz. The Bison were also able to close out the fourth set to win the match 25-23. Buchholz and Stout both had strong performances, recording double-doubles; Buchholz  had 21 kills and 12 digs, while Stout recorded 16 kills and 18 digs.

The women’s volleyball team struggled in their second invitational match against Duquesne. Duquesne defeated the Bison 25-18, 25-17, and 25-22. While the Bison failed to win, Stout recorded nine kills and nine digs. Other strong performances were had by Sophie Bullard ’20, who recorded eight kills and 13 digs, and Brooke Stark ’20, who recorded 19 digs.

With one game remaining, the Bison were determined to defeat their final opponent: defending Northeast Conference champions Robert Morris. The Bison started strong and won the first set 25-22. In the second set, after trailing 17-8, the Orange and Blue were able to bounce back, tying the set at 21-21. But, Robert Morris was able to edge the Bison out, winning the second set 29-27. Despite losing the second set, the Orange and Blue were able to take back the lead over Robert Morris with 25-11 blowout in the third set. While the Bison continued to fight hard, they failed to win the final two sets and fell to Robert Morris, losing 19-25 and 16-18.

I am super proud of our team for going out there and playing our hearts out. Although we did not get the win, I still think that we left everything out on the court and left the gym feeling ready to get back into practice to work on clenching those tight games,” Erika Eastley ’17 said.

Not only did Eastley play well, but she also moved to sixth on the Bison’s list for all-time blocks and fifth for all-time block assists.

“Well first of all, I actually didn’t even know I was in the running to be in the top five of all-time blocks and block assists for Bucknell! My parents were the first to tell me about it, so it was a very exciting and surprising moment on the bus home,” Eastley said.

The Bison will take on UPenn, George Mason, and Howard in the Penn Invitational Sept. 9-10.

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