POTSDAM, N.Y.—The SUNY Potsdam volleyball team gave Clarkson University all it could handle before falling 3-1 on the road Tuesday night.
The Bears quickly fell behind 7-1 and 18-13 in the first set, but continued to claw their way back into the contest. Potsdam played strong defense and served aggressively until they captured a 25-23 victory.
“It shows how hard our girls have been working,” Said Bears Head Coach Steve Pike. “We kept battling against a good team on their home court. I liked a lot of things that we did tonight, but we still have work to do.”
The two teams slugged it out over the next three sets, with neither able build a secure lead. Rarely did either squad lead by more than three, but the Golden Knights came away with the final three wins, 25-22, 26-24, and 25-20.
“We had some opportunities,” Pike said. “They just out-executed us a bit. But that competitive attitude and fight is exactly what we want and expect to see from SUNY Potsdam student-athletes.”
Pike was also impressed with the showing made by Bears fans.
“It was great to see so many Potsdam students and athletes at Clarkson tonight,” Pike added. “It was almost like a home match at times. I know the girls really appreciated the support.”
Junior outside hitter Dakota Pruiss led the Bears' attack with eight kills. Junior setter Jenna Blujus finished with 22 assists, 10 digs and four kills. Senior libero Jill Dye and sophomore outside hitter Liza Fields totaled 17 and 13 digs, respectively. Senior middle hitter Kayla Howard finished with six blocks.
“Anne Fildes did a great job for us in the middle tonight,” Pike said. “Jenna really ran the offense well and Jill was strong in the back. Kayla was very great defensively. Rachel Auerbach was very consistent in her debut on that court.
Next, Potsdam hosts the seven-team Victory Promotions Invitational on Sept. 7-8. The Bears open the tournament Friday with matches against Oswego State at 5:30 and Saint Michael's at 7:30 p.m.