Game 1 Box Score
Game 2 Box Score

EVANSTON, Ill. – The Columbia volleyball team fell to 0-2 on the season after dropping a pair of matches Friday on day one of the Wildcat Challenge. The Lions fought hard but  lost in straight sets to host Northwestern before a tightly contested nightcap with Boise State, 3-1.

Game 1 Recap:

Columbia came up short in its season opener Friday against host Northwestern on day one of the Wildcat Challenge. The Lions pushed the first set into extra points but ultimately fell, 24-26, before dropping the final two frames, 22-25 and 15-25.

Columbia out-blocked the Wildcats 16-3, but were unable to overcome 19 attack errors as the Lions hit just .126 for the match. Northwestern capitalized by finishing with a 44 to 33 kills advantage, hitting .209 overall.

First-year Kesi Neblett was strong at the net in her debut for the Lions, tallying a match-high five blocks (one solo), while senior Savannah Fletcher contributed four blocks (one solo).

Offensively, sophomore Atlanta Moye-McLaren led Columbia with a team-best nine kills, while sophomore Lucy Tilton smacked eight kills and an impressive .417 hitting percentage.

The Lions came out ready to roar in the first set of the match, quickly jumping out to an early 4-1 lead. Before long, the Wildcats rallied to take control, 12-11, but Columbia stayed close behind.

With Northwestern ahead 24-21, the Wildcats needed just one more point to put the set away. Fletcher stepped it up for the Lions with a timely kill followed by a block to force extra points for the set. A kill by Moye-McLaren then evened the score at 24-all, but Northwestern scored the next two points to take a 1-0 match lead.

Up for the challenge, the Lions came out hot once again in the second set, grabbing an early 5-1 lead. On fire, Columbia remained in front most of the way, until a kill by Stephanie Holthus gave the Wildcats their first lead of the set, 21-20, forcing a Columbia timeout. The Lions fought to regain the lead but came up just short.

Northwestern controlled the third set after taking a 7-3 lead, never looking back the rest of the way.

Kayla Morin paced the Wildcats throughout the match with 16 kills and a .351 hitting percentage. Holthus was also in double figures for Northwestern with 12 kills.

Game 2 Recap:

The Lions attemped a fiesty comeback in game two of the day against Boise State, but fell by score of 16-25, 21-25, 28-26, 22-25.

After Boise State took a plentiful lead in the fiest set, Columbia made it close in the second and continued to rally to a third set victory to keep its hopes alive.

After a neck-and-neck early third set, the Lions took control midway through thanks to back-to-back kills by first-year Bailey Springer. Boise State nearly made a comeback in the set after a kill by Alyssa Gammel which put the Broncos ahead, but the Lions held on for the third set victory.

It was a close fourth set, but Boise State stayed in control to take a 25-22 victory and win the match, 3-2.

 Overall, Moye-McLaren led the offensive unit for the Lions for the day with 21 kills and a .333 hitting percentage. First-year Jennifer Petrovich contributed a team-best 52 assists, including 7.43 assits/set.

The Lions will look to pick up their first win of the season tomorrow at 11 a.m. against Bemont to conclude the Wildcat Challenge.