Volleyball Takes First Set But Falls at American
Nov. 12, 2011
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Lafayette volleyball team took the first set from host American - the 2011 regular season champion of the Patriot League - on Saturday afternoon but could not hold off the Eagles in the 3-1 loss. Kaitlynn Zoller recorded a double-double in the Leopards' season finale.
The Leopards conclude 2011 at 10-17 overall - a five-win improvement from last season - and 3-11 in the Patriot League. Lafayette had been swept in 11 consecutive meetings against perennial powerhouse American, which has won the Patriot League in all but one of its 10 previous seasons as a member institution. The Eagles will host the Patriot League Tournament next weekend after finishing the regular season at 21-10 on the season with a 13-1 League tally.
Zoller's double-double consisted of 13 kills and 10 digs. Camissa Beghou added 10 kills and a .400 hitting percentage (10-2-20) for the Leopards. Danielle Towslee contributed five kills, and Katy Rooney had three. Molly Belcher dumped over two kills from the setter spot in addition to her match-high 32 assists. Alana Taylor capped her Lafayette career with two kills, and Alexandra Russo rounded out the offense with one finisher.
On the defensive end, Christy Mebust wrapped up her senior season with a match-best 17 digs. Belcher neared a double-double with digs from the back row. At the net, Taylor, Towslee and Rooney each had a hand in three of Lafayette's eight total blocks.
The Leopards jumped out to an early lead by claiming victory in a back-and-forth first set. Lafayette trailed 4-1 to start the match before reeling off six straight points - sparked by three Zoller kills - to claim a 7-4 advantage. The Leopards kept the Eagles at bay by holding off extended runs and eventually extended the lead to five points at 19-14. The regular season champions came out firing out of a timeout and won seven of the next eight rallies to take a 21-20 advantage. Lafayette battled back to a deadlock at 22-22 and won the next three points - capped by a block by Taylor and Zoller - to win the first set, 25-22.
An upset was not in the cards, however, as the Eagles took early leads that they would not relinquish in each of the next three sets - winning by scores of 25-16, 25-12 and 25-18 to take a 3-1 win.
American's Rebecca Heath matched Zoller with 13 kills for the victorious Eagles. Monika Smidova and Alexandra Hammer shared setting duties, doling out 20 and 13, respectively. Hammer completed a double-double with a team-high 12 digs.