After over a week’s break from non-conference play, the Binghamton volleyball team hosted Colgate and was defeated 3-0 on Tuesday night at the West Gym in Vestal, New York. After a back-and-forth first set that came down to the wire and fell in Colgate’s favor, BU was unable to keep pace with the Raiders as they lost the second and third sets, getting swept 3-0.
“[Colgate] didn’t make a lot of errors,” said Binghamton head coach Allie Yaeger. “You’ve got to compete with a team of that caliber and that level and at times we did.”
After the Raiders (11-4) won the first two points of the opening set, Binghamton (6-8) got on the board after a Colgate service error to make it 2-1. After this point, things continued to go back and forth as both teams exchanged points. A kill from senior outside hitter Tsvetelina Ilieva tied the score at five. Neither team was able to build a significant lead as the momentum continuously flipped from the Bearcats to the Raiders.
With Colgate leading 13-12, BU strung together two straight kills, courtesy of freshman outside hitter Ella Schabort and freshman middle blocker Misa Dlouha, which gave the Bearcats a 14-13 advantage. However, the Raiders followed this up with four consecutive points of their own to take a 17-14 lead, their largest of the set. On several occasions later in the set, Binghamton went on to cut the deficit to one but Colgate maintained just enough momentum to preserve its lead and take the first set 25-22.
“[In the first set], it was who was going to take the momentum and Colgate did,” Yaeger said. “It was point for point and we would come back and we would answer really well, but they just got the momentum toward the end of the set.”
The penultimate set began with Colgate jumping out to a quick 4-0 lead. Binghamton stopped the bleeding and strung together two points after a kill from Schabort and an attack error by the Raiders. With the score at 4-2, Colgate strung together a 7-2 run to make it 10-4, Despite going down early, Binghamton subsequently went on a 5-0 run, which included four kills by Ilieva, to cut the Raiders lead to just two.
Not long after, the Bearcats proceeded to take three straight points to tie up the score at 12. However, BU was unable to keep the momentum as the Raiders began to pull away. Later in the frame, with Binghamton down 19-16, Colgate went on a 4-0 run to make it 22-16. BU was unable to complete the comeback as Colgate took set two 25-18.
“You can’t get down on a team that much,” Yaeger said. “That’s not good. It was hard, but we were able to come back which was exciting to watch and it shows a lot of potential … we did a lot of good things in that set, it just wasn’t good enough.”
The third and final set began similarly to the second with the Raiders taking a 5-0 lead, forcing Binghamton to burn an early timeout. Coming out of the timeout, the Bearcats got on the board with a kill from Schabort. Colgate, however, would not let up as the visitors continued to put pressure on BU. At the 6-2 mark, the Raiders went on a 9-3 run to take an eight-point lead.
Then, later in the frame with the score at 16-7, Binghamton made an effort to chip into the visitors’ lead with a 3-0 run. Ultimately, the Raiders proved to be too much as they won the final six points of the set to take the third set 25-13 and the match, completing a 3-0 sweep over BU.
“We did a lot of really, really good things tonight, but then we would follow it up with our own errors of three or four,” Yaeger said. “If it’s our errors it’s easy to fix, it’s us.”
Ilieva spearheaded the Bearcat offense in the loss, totaling 17 kills. In addition, Schabort added nine kills of her own while sophomore setter Lottie Scully and freshman setter Danit Cohen combined for 29 total assists.
“We’re excited [to start conference play],” Yaeger said. “This is what the last month and a half has been, is preparing for this Friday and what comes along with the territory of America East (AE).”
Binghamton will open up AE conference play against NJIT on Friday, Sept. 29. First serve is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Estelle and Zoom Fleisher Athletic Center in Newark, New Jersey.