POTSDAM, N.Y. – The SUNY Potsdam volleyball team (20-15) fell in four sets in a senior night contest against Clarkson University (23-5) Tuesday night. Seniors Jill Dye, Erin Wagner, Anne Fildes, and Kayla Howard were all honor for their contributions to the program.
“I can't thank the seniors enough for the culture they have created with this program both on and off the court,” said Head Coach Steve Pike. “They have left a mark on Potsdam volleyball and are great examples of what direction we are heading in.”
Potsdam rushed out of the gates to an early lead in the first set. Clarkson quickly closed the gap and surpassed the Bears 14-11. Junior middle hitter Sara Anderson found a groove with her serve as Potsdam climbed back late in the set. The Golden Knights reversed the momentum gained by Anderson and closed out the game 25-21.
The second set was closely contest as both teams exchanged points. Potsdam seemed to gain confidence when freshman setter Casey Chase made a great play from the back row. The Golden Knights fought their way back into the set and pulled away from the Bears off a late 4-0 run to win, 25-23.
Coach Pike notes the play of his bench.
“Casey did a great job defensively and made a great play which really fired the team up. We were able to carry that momentum into the third set.”
The Bears battled back in the third set behind senior Anne Fildes. Her high energy provided a boost for Potsdam as she compiled several huge blocks and service aces. The Bears pulled away late in the set as Fildes finished a long rally with a big kill. The senior followed up with back-to-back aces to close out the set, 25-18.
Clarkson darted out to an early 11-5 lead in the fourth game behind the big swing of freshman outside hitter Aishvina Arasu. The Bears could not recover from the deficit as the Golden Knights finished the match with a 25-18 victory. Anderson led the Bears attack with 12 kills and Howard added 9. Junior setter Jenna Blujus finished with 30 assists and 18 digs. Dye and sophomore outside hitter Liza Fields added 12 and 10 digs, respectively.
“I was happy with our effort tonight,” said Pike. “We never backed down. I really liked the way we were serving and the speed we brought to the ball. Also, I thought we blocked well against their hitters.”
The Bears return to action Saturday, Oct. 26 when they travel to the Oswego Tri-Match. Potsdam will face Oswego at 1 p.m. and St. John Fisher at 3 p.m.