Bears Volleyball splits the final day of the Victory Promotions Invitational


POTSDAM, N.Y. – The SUNY Potsdam Volleyball (5-4) team fell in three straight sets to Southern Vermont (6-0) before rebounding with a 3-1 victory over Plattsburgh State (5-3) on the final day of the Victory Promotions Invitational.

Potsdam quickly fell behind 11-5, but fought back on some tough points before dropping the first set 25-18. Southern Vermont maintained their momentum going into the next two sets defeating the Bears 25-22 and 25-16.

“I have to give a lot of credit to Southern Vermont,” said Head Coach Steve Pike. “They brought a lot of speed on the outside and they did a good job at mixing in serves. We were a little inconsistent in all areas. We had some good runs but we didn't execute and we made mistakes.”

Junior middle hitter Sara Anderson led the Bears attack with four kills. Junior setter Jenna Blujus finished with 15 assists and six digs and freshman outside hitter Rachel Auerbach contributed seven digs.

The Bears then rallied to defeat Plattsburgh 3-1 in the final match of the day. Potsdam came out swinging in the first two sets, capturing 25-22 and 25-16 decisions. Potsdam fell behind early in the third. The front row of sophomore Tia Wright, senior Anne Fildes and Auerbach sparked a run for the Bears to close the gap late in the set. However, the Cardinals were able to hold on 25-22 to force a fourth set.

“We were down 8-1 in the third,” said Pike. “We focused on going point-for-point and climbed back into the set.”

Potsdam reversed the Cardinal momentum during the fourth game, taking the lead and never looking back. The Bears rode the momentum to a final 25-20 win.

Coach Pike was pleased with his players stepping up in certain roles.

“We had contributions from several people in different positions today,” said Pike. “Anderson hit a few good balls in service and on the outside. Blujus made some good decisions and set good hittable balls. Tia and Stephanie Vlad brought some speed off the outside. They were big for us today.”

Senior middle hitter Kayla Howard led the Bears with nine kills. Auerbach finished with eight kills, eight digs, and three service aces. Blujus had 34 assists and 12 digs. Senior libero Jill Dye contributed 19 digs, respectively.

The Bears return to action at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, September 11 against St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y.