Volleyball doubles 2016 win total

Elise Covert and Alexa Girasole

The Bison volleyball team dropped a four-set match to Patriot League favorites American on Oct. 13, 3-1, before rallying to beat Holy Cross in a five-set thriller on Oct. 14. With the weekend split, the Orange and Blue move to 10-10 overall and 4-4 in the Patriot League, ranking fifth in the league. With their victory against Holy Cross, the Bison doubled their win total from last season.

The Bison fought to take the victory in a thrilling first set, handing American their first set loss in six games. The Eagles had set point at 24-23, but Hailey Stout ’18 tied the score at 24 with a kill before Blake Buchholz ’19 and Mimi Richards ’20 combined for a block to secure the first set 30-28 for the Bison. American took the second and third sets by margins of 25-18 and 25-15, respectively. The Bison battled back in the fourth set to make the score 23-24 but were unable to steal the set from the Eagles.

Despite the loss, the Orange and Blue showcased some notable individual efforts against top Patriot League competition. Buchholz and Sophie Bullard ’20 had five kills apiece in the opening set. Richards finished with nine blocks and nine kills on .333 hitting on the night. Anna Carroll ’21 had one of the best nights of her rookie career, finishing with four blocks and eight kills. Alexa Bonanno ’21 led the team with 22 assists and Brooke Stark ’20 led with 19 digs.

“I think we shocked ourselves when we took the first game at American. We proved to ourselves we have the ability to compete at the top of the league,” Bullard said.

The Bison carried that confidence into another league matchup on Oct. 14 to beat Holy Cross in five sets. They mounted a furious comeback in the first set to win in extra points, but unfortunately lost the second and fourth sets to set up a winner-takes-all fifth set. The Orange and Blue fought off three match point attempts by the Crusaders before a block by Celeste Barker ’18 and Stout combined for the game-winning block.

Richards had another strong performance with a .444 hitting average, tallying 15 kills and seven blocks in the game. She increased her season block assist total to 98 and only needs eight more to beat the program record of 105, set in 1996.

Stout led the team with 15 kills, while setters Bonanno and Luz Nagle ’18 registered 28 and 16 assists, respectively. It was a solid all-around team effort with four Bison players finishing with double-digit digs.

The Orange and Blue look to further improve their record when they hit the road to play Colgate on Oct. 20.

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