Volleyball still in postseason chase after win over Loyola

Alexa Girasole, Senior Writer

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Bison volleyball split their games this weekend with a loss to Navy and a win against Loyola, improving their record to 13-13 overall and 7-7 in the Patriot League. Their record puts them in sixth place and they will be fighting for the fourth and final Patriot League tournament spot heading into the final two regular season games on Nov. 10 and 12.

The Bison dropped their match 3-1 against Navy on Nov. 3. The Orange and Blue pushed hard in the second set and came out with a victory. Hailey Stout ’18 had five kills with no errors in the second set alone. However, despite a 17-15 lead led by Luz Nagle ’18 in the third set, Navy went on to score the rest of the points to take the win.

Stout had her first double-double of the season against the Mids, posting a team high in both kills and digs with 14 and 20, respectively. Sophie Bullard ’20 finished with eight kills and 14 digs while teammate Stefanie Alpert ’18 had the best stretch of her career with 11 kills on a .429 hitting average.

“This weekend was a really important one for our team. I think that we played as a cohesive unit in both games, especially in the one against Navy,” Alpert said.

“While we may not have gotten the result we wanted, I’m proud of the way our team competed,” Celeste Barker ’18 said. The team carried this positivity into Senior Night against Loyola on Nov. 4, when seniors Stout, Alpert, Nagle, and Barker were honored in a ceremony prior to the match.

The Orange and Blue’s 3-1 win over the Greyhounds keeps them in the running for the Patriot League tournament. They were led by 11 kills from Stout, while Barker hit a team-best of .375. Brooke Stark ’20 had a team-best 25 digs as libero, while Alexa Bonanno ’21 and Nagle had 40 assists combined at setter.

The Bison jumped out to a 7-3 lead in the opening set. Mimi Richards ’20 had four kills in the first set, holding Loyola to a negative hitting percentage. After dropping the second set, the Bison rallied to win the next two sets, closing their home schedule on a winning note. A kill by Alpert at the end of the fourth set concluded the match and secured the Bison’s victory.

“The rest of the season will be focused on making it to playoffs and, for myself as a senior, leaving this program with the belief and confidence that every game and practice can be used as an opportunity to get better,” Nagle said.

The Orange and Blue will close out their regular season Patriot League schedule against Holy Cross on Nov. 10 and top-seeded American on Nov. 12.

“We want to show everyone that Bucknell Volleyball is not a program you can underestimate, and we are looking to upset a few teams in our final weeks together,” Barker said.

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