NEW PALTZ, N.Y. – The SUNY Potsdam volleyball team (20-12, 3-3 SUNYAC) split the first day of SUNYAC East Pool play. The Bears fell to nationally ranked #11 SUNY Cortland (27-2, 6-0 SUNYAC) in three sets before downing SUNY Plattsburgh (11-16, 0-6 SUNYAC) 3-0 Friday evening.
Potsdam struggled to find a rhythm against a strong Cortland squad. The Red Dragons big blockers kept the Bears offense out of sync resulting in a 25-14, 25-18, 25-13 victory. Junior middle hitter Sara Anderson and sophomore outside hitter Liza Fields led the Bears attack with six kills each. Junior setter Jenna Blujus totaled 19 assists and 12 digs. Sophomore defensive specialist Gabby Arana added 12 digs.
“I thought Cortland did a good job running their offense and had a big block up front which took us out of our system,” said Head Coach Steve Pike. “We passed well and played good defense but they just outscored us.”
The Bears bounced back in the second match of the night versus Plattsburgh. Potsdam battled back from being down in the first and third sets to earn the decision. The Bears fell behind by seven in the first set and recovered to defeat the Cardinals 25-23. The second set was controlled by Potsdam's service and receive game winning, 25-14. The third set was similar to the first as the Bears fell behind 20-16 before rallying to win 25-23. Anderson led the charge with 12 kills and freshman outside hitter Rachel Auerbach added 10 kills of her own. Blujus tallied 31 assists, six aces, and 10 digs. Senior libero Jill Dye contributed 10 digs, respectively.
“The team did a good job at staying consistent and finding a way to win,” said Pike. “Sara and Rachel did a good job on the outside for us. Jenna did a great job distributing the ball and Jill led our serve/receive game.”
The Bears are back on the court tomorrow when they take on Oneonta at 12 p.m. and New Paltz at 2 p.m.