WORCESTER, Mass. – Sophomore Emily Oliver (Carlsbad, Calif.) led the Crusaders with 10 kills as the Holy Cross volleyball team defeated Bucknell, 3-0, at the Holy Cross Field House on Friday night in the Patriot League season-opener for both teams by scores of 28-26, 25-22 and 25-23. With the win, the Crusaders have won three straight matches and improve to 6-5 overall (1-0 PL), while the Bison fall to 6-4 overall (0-1 PL). The Crusaders' 6-5 record is their best start to a season since going 8-3 in 2001.
Freshman Katie McKernan (Sylvania, Ohio) tallied 27 assists and nine digs, while junior Julia Gould (Ridgewood, N.J.) and freshman Emily Popp (Clarkston, Mich.) each secured 15 digs. Junior captain Mary-Kate Short (Lighthouse Point, Fla.) was outstanding at the net with a career-best seven blocks. Freshman Natalie Welsch (Eden Prairie, Minn.) recorded eight kills and five blocks.
The Bison were led by Erika Eastley who posted 12 kills and six blocks, while Keane Brazda tallied 23 assists. Katie Price led the team with 15 digs.
With the first set tied at 23-23, the Bison earned a set point on a kill by Morgan Mientus. But a kill by Oliver tied the set at 24-24. Oliver then recorded her second straight kill to give the Crusaders a 25-24 advantage, but a kill by Eastley extended the set. Bucknell earned another set point with a kill by Mientus, but Short tied the game at 26-26 with a kill. Following a service ace by junior Hannah Grace Stokes (Atlanta, Ga.), the Crusaders forced an attack error for the 28-26 first-set win. With the second set tied at 21-21, Holy Cross won four of the next five points to secure a 25-22 victory as Short and McKernan posted block assists on set point. With the third set tied at 23-23, the Crusaders forced two attack errors to earn the 25-23 match-clinching win. This is the Crusaders' fourth 3-0 win this season.
The Crusaders return to action on Saturday, Sept. 21, when they play Patriot League opponent Lehigh at the Holy Cross Field House at 2:00 p.m.
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