The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Women’s volleyball loses to American, beats Navy

After taking down Navy, the Leopards have a weekend at home with two matches. (Photo by Rick Smith for GoLeopards)

Coming off of a victory in its rivalry game against Lehigh, the women’s volleyball team (7-7 overall, 3-3 Patriot League) competed in two conference matches this past weekend. The team was swept by American (10-6 overall, 3-1 Patriot League) on Friday but responded the next day with an emphatic win against Navy. 

In the first set against American, the Leopards took an early 1-0 lead with a kill from junior outside hitter Phoebe Glass, assisted by senior setter Alyssa Vitale. However, the Eagles were able to come back and tie the game, eventually taking the first set by a score of 25-22.  

The second set was quite a show with seven ties and three lead changes occurring. American eventually took the set by a score of 25-20, however, and followed up by closing out the third set 25-19 to capture its ninth win of the season.

“American is a strong team,” sophomore outside hitter Carol Ulichney said. “We had some ups and downs, but I still think we did well.”

“It should have been our game. We had the physicality, but fell short on the mental side,” Glass added.

On Saturday, Lafayette was back in action in Annapolis, Maryland. The Leopards emerged victorious from a tit-for-tat against Navy (11-3 overall, 3-2 Patriot League), capturing their seventh win of the season.

Freshman outside hitter Emma Patmon led the way with 16 kills. Senior middle blocker Gracie Gibson was a force on defense, tallying four solo blocks and five block assists.

In the first set, the score was tied until Patmon gave the Leopards the lead with a kill assisted by fellow freshman setter Anna Van Wyk. However, Navy rallied and took the first set 26-24.

Lafayette started the second set with a 3-point lead thanks to a kill from Glass and a pair of attack errors from Navy. Freshman outside hitter Ally Feczko eventually won the set for Lafayette with a kill assisted by Vitale.

Navy took the third set 25-21 but the Leopards came back in the fourth. With Lafayette up 19-14, Gibson and Patmon each added a kill. Then, Gibson bagged four more kills and two solo blocks to propel the Leopards to a 25-17 victory in the set.

“We played with a nothing to lose mentality,” Glass said. “Navy is always ranked high and we were the underdogs. We got up and realized we were capable of beating them, so that carried us through the rest of the game.”

With the game tied, Lafayette continued its momentum into the fifth set. The set was tied at 3-3 early on, but three attack errors from Navy extended the Leopards’ lead to 6-3. Gibson eventually ended the match with a kill assisted by Vitale.

This game marked the first time in almost two years that the volleyball team beat Navy.

“There were tears shed. We haven’t beat Navy in a while, so that win was very important for us. There were smiles and laughter the whole bus ride back,” Ulichney said.

“Knowing we can beat a higher-ranked team in the Patriot League has given us a lot of confidence going forward,” Glass said.

Lafayette returns home tonight at 7 p.m. to face Loyola Maryland (6-9 overall, 1-4 Patriot League) inside Kirby Sports Center. 

“We know this is a big game we need to win to level our standings in the Patriot League,” Glass said. “We are going to keep giving it our all.”

Ulichney is excited about the Leopards’ chances against the Greyhounds.

“We are a well-oiled machine,” she said. “We are super excited to keep making a dent in the Patriot League and see what damage we can cause.”

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