The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Volleyball showcases resilience in weekend competition

Volleyball will zero in on the season’s final stretch in hopes of making the Patriot League tournament. (Photo courtesy of GoLeopards)

In a weekend filled with ups and downs, the volleyball team (9-10 overall, 5-6 Patriot League) came back to sweep Holy Cross (4-16 overall, 1-10 Patriot League) on the road after falling to Army (11-9 overall, 8-3 Patriot League).

The first competition took place last Friday at West Point. The match kicked off with the Black Knights establishing an early 7-2 lead in the first set, but a kill by junior outside hitter Abby Nieporte brought Lafayette back into the game. The Leopards fought to level the score at 19 apiece, courtesy of a stellar stretch from senior setter Alyssa Vitale at the service line. However, an attack error from Lafayette handed Army the first set by a score of 25-20.

“We started off too weak and got stuck playing the catch-up game,” Nieporte said.

The second set brought intense action, featuring 14 ties and 11 lead changes. Lafayette managed to take a 22-17 lead after junior outside hitter Phoebe Glass secured a crucial kill. Despite the Leopards’ resilience, Army edged out the Maroon and White, winning the set 27-25.

Undeterred, Lafayette regrouped for the third set, but ultimately fell short as Army took an early lead as it won 25-20. Despite the lopsided final score, Lafayette players believe the close sets demonstrated that the Leopards continued to fight throughout the match.

“We really wanted to win it and did a lot of preparation. It was disappointing to not win,” sophomore outside hitter Carol Ulichney said. “We were neck and neck with them, but couldn’t finish each set.”

Quick to put the tough match behind them, the Leopards were back in action Saturday against Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. The Crusaders jumped out to an early 7-2 lead in the first set, testing Lafayette’s ability to bounce back. 

“It was a rocky start, but we had a timeout and laid it all on the line,” Nieporte said. “We didn’t want to leave regretting anything.” 

The Leopards came back, narrowing the gap to 17-14. Lafayette then went on a 3-0 run, fueled by attack errors from Holy Cross and a kill from first-year middle blocker Irelynd Lorenzen. An ace by first-year outside hitter Emma Patmon clinched the first set 25-22 for Lafayette.

The Maroon and White carried their momentum into the second set, securing an early 5-0 lead. Despite an attempted comeback from Holy Cross, Lafayette held the Crusaders off, winning the set 25-19 with a decisive kill from first-year outside hitter Ally Feczko assisted by Vitale.

In the third set, the Leopards maintained control with a 16-9 lead. A service error and an attack error from Holy Cross extended Lafayette’s lead, securing the final set and the match with a 25-19 victory. 

The weekend’s triumph sets the stage for the Leopards’ upcoming match at Kirby Sports Center where they will face Navy (13-6 overall, 5-5 Patriot League) tonight at 7 p.m. The Leopards will look to secure their second win against the Midshipmen this season, which would move the team up the Patriot League standings and position them for a postseason run.

“We want to make it to the Patriot League tournament,” Ulichney said. “That’s been the goal since the beginning. We’re working to focus on one game at a time and we’re all really excited for this weekend. We beat Navy last time, so we’re hoping to beat them again.”

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