Volleyball sweeps Cardinals, outlasts Flyers at RIT


ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The SUNY Potsdam volleyball team concluded day one of the RIT Invitational with two victories. Potsdam (8-4) defeated St. John Fisher (1-7) 3-0 and battled to a 3-1 win over Nazareth College (5-6).

Potsdam commanded the court in a three set sweep over St. John Fisher in the first match. The Bears generated a 10-point lead in the first set, before closing the game 25-19. Potsdam carried the momentum into the next two sets. The Bears' serve proved to be too much as they claimed the decision, 25-21 and 25-23. Senior middle hitters Kayla Howard and Anne Fildes led the attack with 8 kills each. Junior setter Jenna Blujus finished with 28 assists and 12 digs. Senior libero Jill Dye contributed 14 digs.

“I was really happy with the way our team came out,” said Head Coach Steve Pike. “We were serving tough and we forced them out of their system. The keys to our success were our middle attack and our serving.”

The Bears battled to a thrilling win over Nazareth College.

Potsdam left everything on the court as they fought through four tough sets. The Bears took the first set with a close 28-26 victory. Potsdam trailed late in the second set 24-20. Tough serving and blocking by Blujus, Fildes and freshman outside hitter Rachel Auerbach boosted the Bears to a 27-25 decision. Potsdam dropped the third set 19-25. The Bears rallied late in the fourth set down 24-21 to defeat Nazareth, 31-29. Auerbach led the Bears attack with 13 kills. Blujus posted 33 assists and 23 digs. Howard finished with 10 kills, respectively.

Pike was pleased with his team's resilience.

“I was really impressed with how hard the team fought. We never backed down and that was the key to our victory,” said Pike. “I thought we served really well and it kept Nazareth's dynamic hitters off balance. Jenna did a great job running our offense and played very well defensively. Stephanie Vlad came in and generated some offense for us at key points. Rachel did really well on the outside for us and we continued our connection with the middle hitters.”

Potsdam will face Bluffton University (4-6) at 10 a.m. followed by the University of Rochester (8-3) at 2 p.m. to conclude the tournament.