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The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Volleyball drops weekend home matches

Freshman outside hitter Ally Feczko spikes the ball over the Midshipmen. (Photo by Rick Smith for GoLeopards)

The volleyball team (9-12 overall, 5-8 Patriot League) was not able to pick up a win in either of its matches last weekend, falling to Navy (14-7 overall, 6-6 Patriot League) on Friday and American (16-9 overall, 9-4 Patriot League) on Saturday.

In the home game against Navy, the Leopards were able to win the first set in thrilling fashion, taking it by a score of 29-27. Back-to-back kills from freshman outside hitter Ally Feczko secured the set, and she would go on to record her third double-double of the season with 10 kills and 14 digs.

However, the Leopards were not able to build off this momentum as they went on to lose the next three sets by scores of 25-21, 25-19 and 25-23, respectively.

Navy stayed aggressive from the service line the entire match, which at times made it tough for us to get in system,” Feczko said. 

Despite the loss, freshman middle blocker Irelyn Lorenzen had an impressive individual performance. The San Diego native finished the game with seven kills, one service ace, four solo blocks and two block assists.

“It was very fun to be able to contribute in a big way in our game against Navy,” Lorenzen said. “I have been working hard in practice to improve my blocking and the connection with my setters, and it was exciting to see it reflected in a game setting over the course of this weekend.”

The team’s matchup against American University on Saturday was its Senior Day celebration. Once again, the Maroon and White started by winning the first set, this time by a score of 25-21.

Despite another hot start for the Leopards, the Eagles won the next three sets 25-17, 29-27 and 25-15, respectively.

“We need to keep working on being consistent and keeping the energy up the entire match, even if we are down,” Feczko said. “We also need to stay positive and support each other, having that next play mentality. We’ve been really focusing on this in practice this week.”

Lorenzen had another strong outing, tallying a career-high 12 kills and hitting .588. In addition, she ended with three aces, one solo block and two block assists. 

Freshman outside hitter Emma Patmon and junior outside hitter Abby Nieporte each recorded 10 kills and three digs. 

Senior middle blocker Gracie Gibson enters the last three matches of the season with the highest hitting percentage in the Patriot League at .380, with 135 kills in 297 attempts with only 22 errors.

As the team approaches the last two weeks of the regular season, head coach Christian Kiselica enters a crucial point of his first season with Lafayette. 

“While we competed hard and put up a good fight against both teams this weekend, our coaches emphasized how important it is for us to reflect on personal and team adjustments that need to be made for next weekend,” Lorenzen said. “We also discussed as a team how necessary it is to keep a steady and high energy level throughout entire matches which is somewhere we fell short this weekend.” 

At this point, four teams have secured spots in the Patriot League Championship: Colgate, Army, Bucknell and American. Lafayette, Navy, Loyola and Lehigh will battle it out in the coming weeks for the final two spots.

“The Patriot League has been experiencing a variety of upsets as the season has progressed, but this does not worry our team,” Lorenzen said. “Instead, it has inspired us to approach every match with the motivation and belief that we are capable of beating any opponent we may meet across the net. We are excited to keep battling for a spot in the playoffs and the chance to earn a spot in the NCAA tournament.” 

The team faces Lehigh in Bethlehem tonight at 7 p.m. and will travel to Bucknell tomorrow.

“We feel good,” Feczko said. “I think we’re all super excited about playing Lehigh this weekend because of the rivalry, and also because they are a really fun team to play against. We also have the opportunity to increase our chances for making the Patriot League tournament, so it should be a fun match for sure.”

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Eric Ponieman, Assistant Sports Editor
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