Bears end skid against Saints, 3-1


CANTON, N.Y. – SUNY Potsdam (6-4) defeated St. Lawrence University (3-6) in a four set thriller Tuesday night, 3-1. The Bears snapped a four-match losing streak against the Saints with the win.

“I'm very pleased that the girls kept fighting and found a way to get the victory tonight,” said Head Coach Steve Pike. “Anytime you come into St. Lawrence and get a victory you know you've earned it because they play hard every point and they battle to the end.”

The Bears started the first set down 13-6 before a rally sparked by sophomore outside hitter Tia Wright and freshman outside hitter Rachel Auerbach fueled the Bears to a 25-17 victory. Wright initiated the rally with a huge kill, followed by a service ace. Auerbach then took over, as the Saints had no answer to her serve.

“Rachel has been doing a great job for us in the rotation with her serving. She puts a lot of pressure on the other team with a good jump float serve,” said Pike.

The second set consisted of long rallies and another come back by Potsdam. The Bears fell behind 15-7 early. Junior setter Jenna Blujus led the rally with back-to-back aces. Potsdam climbed back into the set to tie the score at 22 all. The Saints were able to hold off the Bears charge to win the set 25-23. 

Potsdam came out strong in the third and fourth sets. The Bears commanded the court winning both games 25-21 and 25-23. Junior middle hitter Sara Anderson, sophomore defensive specialist Gabby Arana, and Auerbach made big plays to give Potsdam the decision.

“Jenna has made some great defensive plays and had good consistent sets from pin to pin. Sara Anderson came in for us as a middle hitter and created some offense and defense. Also, Tia had some big swings on the outside,” said Pike.

Pike was pleased with his team as a whole.

“It was a great team effort. Our role players had great information. Erin Wagner gave great advice and it shows that our program is going in the right direction and the whole team is contributing in every way.”

Wright led the Bears attack with 11 kills. Blujus led the team with 35 assists and 21 digs. Auerbach contributed nine kills, six service aces, and 15 digs. Senior middle hitter Kayla Howard added seven kills, respectively.

The Bears look to continue their success as they travel to the RIT Invitational on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 14-15.