HAMILTON, N.Y.  — The Navy volleyball team fell just short of accomplishing what had occurred only once before in Patriot League Tournament history — rally from a 2-0 deficit in sets to win the final — as the Mids fell to Colgate in five sets, Sunday afternoon at Cotterell Court in Hamilton, N.Y., in the championship match of the Patriot League Tournament.  

After the third-seeded Mids (16-12) lost the opening two sets, 25-20, 25-10, they won sets three and four from the top-seeded Raiders (24-5), 28-26, 25-22.  Colgate would win the final set, 15-9.

“It is never easy to swallow a loss, but the grit and determination we played with tonight was inspirational and I couldn’t be prouder of this team,” said Navy head coach Paco Labrador.

Navy middle blockers Maggie Bodman (Jr., Northbrook, Ill.) and Anna Klemeyer (Jr., Sarasota, Fla.) were named to the all-tournament team.  Bodman posted 17 kills, a .500 attack percentage and four blocks today, while Klemeyer registered seven kills and three blocks against the Raiders less than 24 hours after she tallied nine kills and 11 blocks in five sets against Army.

“Maggie and Anna play the most physically and mentally demanding position on the court,” said Labrador.  “They went up against two of the top offenses in the league this weekend.  Each was up to the challenge as influential blockers and attack threats.”

Navy was appearing in the championship match for the third time in six seasons (2017, 2018), while Colgate won the title for the second year.

Set One

It was a slow start for the Mids, who had to rally from a 2-1 deficit to force a fifth set Saturday evening against the Black Knights, then fought off two match points against them to advance to the title match.  Colgate, which played before the Army-Navy match on Saturday and defeated Loyola in three sets, quickly took a 7-1 lead in today’s match.  The Mids were able to tie the set at 11-11 but fell behind again, 16-11.  Navy made a three-point difference, but that occurred at 23-20, which was too much of a deficit to overcome at that stage of the stanza.

Credit: Navy Athletics

Colgate had three more kills (13-10) and two fewer attack errors (4-2) than Navy in the set. 

Set Two

The Raiders quickly took a 5-0 lead at the start and maintained a significant advantage for most of the set.

Colgate registered 13 kills and zero attack errors (.591) in contrast to the seven kills and eight attack errors (-.042) recorded by Navy.

Set Three

The set would be tied 19 times and see ten lead changes.  There were 12 ties and seven lead changes combined in the other four sets.

A Bodman kill gave Navy a set point with a 24-23 lead, but Colgate registered a kill, and then an attack error by the Mids took the Raiders to championship point with a 25-24 lead.  The match was extended on a bad set by Colgate, but another kill by the Raiders took them to match point again with a 26-25 lead.  Setter Averi Miller (Jr., Phoenix, Ariz.) tallied a kill to tie the set at 26-26.  Miller promptly dropped in an ace to give the Mids a 27-26 lead.  Navy converted its first set point opportunity on a block from the tandem of Klemeyer and Jamie Llewellyn (Jr., Port Deposit, Md.).

Bodman posted six kills on eight attempts in the set. 

Set Four

The score was tied at 13-13 when a Colgate attack error gave Navy a one-point advantage.  That margin doubled when Celie Feighery (Oak Hill, Va.), the lone senior on the team, posted an ace.  Jordan Llewellyn (Jr., Port Deposit, Md.) followed with back-to-back kill to again double the lead to 17-13.  Colgate drew to within two points six times, including at 24-22.  Miller found Bodman for a kill to close out the set.  

Navy posted 16 kills, but equally important was the Mids dropping in four aces for the third time in the first four sets.  That helped send the match to a fifth set.  

Today was just the second time a team had rallied from a 2-0 deficit to force a fifth set in the Patriot League Tournament championship match.  The Raiders won sets three, four and five from Navy in the 1999 tournament final.

Set Five

Colgate took a 5-1 lead at the start of the set and never really let Navy chip away too much of that advantage.  The Mids made it a three-point deficit at 11-8 and 12-9.

Colgate posted 10 kills and Navy committed three service errors against one ace in the final frame of the season.

Statistical Summary

Colgate held leads of 62-57 in kills and 14-7 in blocks.  Navy tallied 13 aces to five for the Raiders, but the Mids also had 14 service errors in contrast to the five committed by Colgate.

“We knew Colgate runs a fast, diverse offense, so we decided to really push the envelope from the service line,” said Labrador.

Jamie Llewellyn joined Bodman in double figures with 12 kills and she also added four aces.  Feighery snared a team-high 11 digs and posted three aces.

“We will take this weekend, reflect on it, learn from it and use it as fuel toward are 2023 campaign,” said Labrador.

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