EVANSTON, Ill. - The Columbia volleyball team came up just short of a gutsy comeback on day two of Northwestern's Wildcat Challenge on Saturday against Belmont, fighting to the fifth set before falling, 3-2.
Down 0-2 for the match after the Bruins earned 25-15 and 25-19 victories in the first two sets, the Lions bounced back with dominating 25-18 and 25-14 wins to even the score, 2-2. In the deciding fifth set, Belmont started out on top and cruised to a 15-8 final win to take the match.
With the loss, the Lions dropped to 0-3 in the season-opening weekend after falling to Northwestern and Boise State on the first day of the tournament.
"We learned a lot, overcame a lot, built capacity where we needed to, and saw where we need to improve before we see Boston College at home next weekend," said Columbia head coach Jon Wilson.
Named to the All-Tournament team, sophomore Atlanta Moye-McLaren had another strong outing. The outside hitter led the Lions with 12 kills and 18 digs for her first double-double of the season. Throughout the two-day invite, Moye-McLaren tallied 33 kills and 28 digs, swinging at .235.
After Belmont took a two-set advantage, the Lions kept their hopes alive with a third-set victory. It began as a back-and-forth affair, but the Lions took control midway through with a 7-1 run, including three consecutive kills by sophomore Lucy Tilton, and led the rest of the way.
Columbia dominated the fourth set with a lofty 25-14 win. It was relatively close early on, but after a 14-14 tie, the Lions rallied with 11 straight points, holding the Bruins scoreless en route to the victory.
Belmont took the first advantage in the fifth set and held on to close out with the win, improving to 2-5 on the year.
The Lions will look to pick up their first win of the season when they return to the Big Apple to host the Columbia Invitational next weekend in Levien Gymnasium from Sept. 13-14.