Volleyball drops both games in Zips Invitational

Kaelyn Long, Staff Writer

The Bison volleyball team battled hard but went 0-2 at the Zips Invitational on Sept. 15 in Akron, Ohio. The Orange and Blue faced Toledo and Akron, representing a high level of play from the Mid-American Conference, and fell by scores of 3-2 and 3-0, respectively. However, Blake Buchholz ’19 was honored with All-Tournament team recognition following both games.

In their first matchup against Toledo, the Bison held the overall lead 2-0 after winning the first two sets 25-22. In what proved to be the turning point, the third set came down to a battle. Toledo led 18-11, forcing the Bison to fight back to tie the set at 21-21. Just six points later, the teams found themselves tied once again after a kill from Bridgette Holland ’20. The Rockets finished the set by scoring the final two points for a 26-24 edge.

Akron then went on to win the fourth set by a score of 25-13. Coming down to the final set, the Orange and Blue maintained a presence in the game, but the team ultimately dropped the deciding set, 15-13.

Buchholz led the way for the Bison with a double-double, totaling a team high of 16 kills and 14 digs. Buchholz also finished with a .389 hitting percentage. Other teammates contributing to the kills count included Holland with 13, Jennie Burke ’22 and Sophie Bullard ’20 each with nine, and Mimi Richards ’20 with eight. Bullard also had a team high in digs with 17.

Brooke Stark ’20 also contributed 15 digs, while Alexa Bonanno ’21 added 15 assists. Topping off the team stats for the match were Richards and Bullard with four blocks apiece.

“This past weekend was a great opportunity to play some tough teams before heading into conference matches,” Buchholz said. “Even though we didn’t come back with a win, I think we learned and grew a lot as a team. We are now very excited to play Navy and American this weekend.”

Later in the afternoon against the Akron Zips, the Bison lost 3-0. Bucknell struggled in its second contest, falling by two scores of 25-18 and one of 25-19. Holland led the team with eight kills while Richards tallied seven kills and four block assists. The Bison had a total of six aces, with three from Burke and two from Buchholz.

“Going into league play, we are focusing on correcting any weaknesses we noticed during our preseason tournaments, and looking at our next opponent to be aware of their strengths,” Holland said. “Primarily our goals focus within the team and the aspects of the game we have direct control over.”

This was the last tournament for the Bison before Patriot League play begins on Friday, Sept. 21, when the Bison will take on Navy at 7 p.m. The team enters league play with an overall record of 5-6, and a 2-1 record at home.

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