Volleyball falls to Army, Colgate in straight sets


Junior libero Katie Weston digs out a ball during Lafayette’s three-set loss to Colgate. (Photo by Rick Smith for GoLeopards)

This past weekend, the women’s volleyball team (4-7 overall, 1-3 Patriot League) fell 0-3 to both Army and Colgate.

The Leopards fell in straight sets in Friday’s affair against Army (25-21, 25-18, 25-19), but all of the sets were close ones. Ultimately, the Golden Knights jumped out to an early lead and never looked back.

Strong performances in the loss came from sophomore outside hitter Abby Nieporte who had 10 kills and freshman outside hitter Carol Ulichney who had nine kills. Junior libero Katie Weston had 10 digs.

“Consistency and minimizing our errors when the game is close will be our focus going forward in the league. This will put pressure back on the other side of the net and allow us to be more successful,” senior outside hitter Grace Steurer said.

“We need to spread our offense more to put us in the best place to score points,” she added.

The Leopards kept things close against Colgate before falling in straight sets once again on Saturday (25-23, 25-21, 25-21). The Leopards kept the score close against the defending Patriot League Champions.

Lafayette carried a 15-13 lead in the first set until Colgate scored four in a row to take the lead. The Leopards managed a 3-0 run, but Colgate answered by scoring four of the next five points to clinch the first.

In the second set, Colgate hopped out to a 16-9 lead and never looked back to secure the set win.

Like the first set, the Leopards had an early lead in the third by a score of 11-6. After a Colgate timeout, the Red Raiders scored the next four points and took the lead at 16-15. Both teams traded points, but ultimately Colgate came out on top.

Ulichney was once again a standout player, leading all players with 13 kills and five digs. Steurer added six kills of her own with 13 digs.

“For me individually, I was filling a new role this weekend as a six rotation player. This allowed me to earn some points for the team through attacking and also play defense, which is what I am most comfortable at,” Steurer said. “Being on the court the whole time allowed me to make hustle plays for balls and make some crazy touches that ended up being huge momentum shifts for the team.”

Junior setter Alyssa Vitale had 37 assists and three kills. Nieporte, along with middle blocker Natasha Zorbas, had seven kills. Junior middle blocker Gracie Gibson put down six kills, hitting .417.

Lafayette will have a Patriot League doubleheader once again this weekend in Maryland as they face the Naval Academy tonight at 7 p.m. in Annapolis and Loyola University tomorrow at 4 p.m.