Volleyball falls twice, still clinches playoff spot


NEW PALTZ, N.Y. – The SUNY Potsdam Volleyball team (20-14, 3-5 SUNYAC) dropped two matches on the final day of regular season SUNYAC East pool play, but still managed to clinch a playoff spot. The Bears fell 3-1 to Oneonta State (18-12, 3-5 SUNYAC) and lost in three sets to SUNY New Paltz (26-7, 6-2 SUNYAC) Saturday afternoon.

The Potsdam offense struggled against Oneonta's defense in the first set of the match, losing 25-17. The Bears clawed their way back into second game to win, 26-24. However, the Red Dragons slowed the Potsdam momentum to claim the final two sets 25-21 and 25-19. Freshman outside hitter Rachel Auerbach led the attack with 14 kills and 11 digs. Junior middle hitter Sara Anderson added 13 kills. Junior setter Jenna Blujus totaled 39 assists and 19 digs. Senior libero Jill Dye contributed 10 digs.

“I was happy with the way the team fought during the match,” said Head Coach Steve Pike. “We lacked consistency and we just didn't execute well today.”

The Bears faced New Paltz in a tough final contest on the day. The Hawks serve and defense proved to be too strong for Potsdam as they soared to a 25-15, 25-18, 25-15 victory. Anderson led the attack with six kills. Blujus tallied 16 assists and 12 digs. Dye added 11 digs, respectively.

“I have to give New Paltz credit,” said Pike. “They put a lot of pressure on us with the serve and they played great defense.”

The Bears return to action on Tuesday, October 23 for a senior night match-up versus across town rival Clarkson. First serve set for 7 p.m.