CORTLAND, N.Y. – The SUNY Potsdam Volleyball dropped two games on Day Two of SUNYAC East Pool play Saturday afternoon. Potsdam (10-8, 2-2 SUNYAC) fell 3-0 to 9th ranked SUNY Cortland (16-0) and lost 3-1 to SUNY New Paltz (12-3).
Potsdam faced a tough opponent in Cortland for their first match. The Red Dragons set the tone early in the first game, taking an 11-4 lead. The Bears were unable to recover from the large deficit and fell 25-13. The second set was much like the first. Cortland was able to keep Potsdam out of rhythm and claimed a 25-13 decision. The Bears rallied in the third set behind the defense of senior libero Jill Dye and sophomore defensive specialist Gabby Arana. Potsdam clawed its way back into the set after being down 9-5. The Red Dragons held off the Bears charge late in the game to earn the 25-21 victory.
“Cortland came out and put some pressure on us with their serving and their blocking,” said Head Coach Steve Pike. “We were never in system and we couldn't find a consistent offense the whole match. I thought we fought harder in the third set but they are just a very good team.”
Junior outside hitter Dakota Pruiss led the Bears attack with six kills. Junior setter Jenna Blujus contributed 21 assists and nine digs.
The Bears fought hard in the second match of the day but were unable to come away with the victory. New Paltz took an early 12-3 lead off the start. Potsdam created opportunities and climbed back into the set. However, the Hawks held off the charge by the Bears winning 25-16. New Paltz continued their momentum going into the second set creating a large lead. Potsdam fought back with a huge run bringing them within two of the Hawks. A New Paltz timeout halted the Bears charge and the Hawks came away with a 25-20 decision. Junior middle hitter Sara Anderson led the Bears as they clawed their way to a 25-21 victory in the third set. The fourth set involved both teams exchanging the lead. New Paltz was able to generated a late run to defeat Potsdam 25-19.
“New Paltz took us out of our system with their serving,” said Pike. “They had two big runs that we didn't stop early enough and that was the deciding factor in the first two sets. We brought Sara in for the third set to switch things up. Sara created some offense for us and we were able to side out the rotations we needed to. We were just inconsistent today.”
Coach Pike saw some positives that the team can learn and improve on later in the season.
“We learned a lot of things about ourselves. Overall, I thought we competed hard and now we will go home and learn from today,” said Pike.
Pruiss led the offensive with 11 kills. Blujus added 25 assists and 16 digs. Dye contributed 12 digs and senior middle hitter Kayla Howard finished with six kills.
The Bears return to action Friday, Sept. 28 at the Brockport Invitational.