---- — NEW YORK – The Plattsburgh State volleyball team dropped a pair of matches at the New York State Challenge hosted by New York University on Friday. The Cardinals fell to 12-19 in 2012 with the setbacks.
Thanks to terminations from Jeanette Braun and Maggie Schratz, the Cardinals were able to begin the match on a 4-1 run. NYU was instrumental in the success of Plattsburgh State early on as well, though, committing four miscues that helped the Cardinals own a 10-7 lead in the early stages of the frame.
After controlling the pace of play early on in the set, the Cardinals fell behind for the first time when the Violets’ offense awoke with four consecutive kills to give the home team an 11-10 advantage.
After swapping points, a service ace from Amanda Wickers kick-started a 3-0 Plattsburgh State run to give the Cardinals a 16-13 lead. That lead, though, did not last long as the Violets employed a 9-1 run to take control of the set. A service error by Allie Williams coupled with a termination from Cummings brought the Cardinals to within three points at 22-19, but the next three scores went to NYU as the host institution took a 1-0 lead.
After allowing NYU to hit .268 in the first set, the defense for the Cardinals buckled down and limited the Violets to a .119 mark in the second frame. Plattsburgh State opened the set on an 8-1 run and never looked back to tie matters at one each. Laura Diehl led the Cardinals in the second frame, smashing home four kills while Braun added two to the cause.
The offensive potency for the Cardinals didn’t last long, though, as they never rose above the .000 mark in terms of attack percentage in the third set. Theresa Lilly posted a kill in the early minutes to make it 2-0 Cardinals but the Violets took over from there, seeing their lead grow to as many as nine points in the set before taking a 25-14 decision and a 2-1 lead.
Losing all form of cohesion in the deciding frame, the Cardinals fell victim to an 8-1 run in a set which was thoroughly controlled by the home team. Plattsburgh State did not hit double-digits on the scoreboard until an attack error by the Violets made things 22-10. NYU hit a blistering .448 in the fourth set, adding four service aces and a block to the Plattsburgh State troubles as well.
Leading the way for the Cardinals was Diehl who put down eight kills on 20 swings. The freshman also had four block assists, helping the Cardinals to a 4.5 to two blocking advantage. Braun chipped in six terminations while Cummings had five to go along with a team-high 15 digs. Wickers also had 15 digs as well as the lone Plattsburgh State service ace.
Alexandria Mao had a match-high 15 kills for the Violets who racked up nine service aces while hitting .257 in the match.
Cummings put together a dazzling match, finishing with a game-high 21 terminations as well as 24 digs, but the Cardinals couldn’t seem to put their offense on display at the right times as they dropped their second match of the day by a 3-1 tally.
The senior out of Plattsburgh, N.Y., was not just dangerous, but efficient, finishing with an attack percentage of .383 in the tilt.
Down 19-12 in the late stages of the first set, Kristen Marchisatto teamed up with Lilly to bring the Cardinals back from the brink. Marchisatto had a pair of service aces while Lilly put down a pair of kills as part of 7-0 run for the Cardinals.
After another deadlock, this one at 20 each, Cummings went to work, racking up three kills that accounted for three out of the final five points the Cardinals needed to take a 25-21 decision and a 1-0 lead.
Consecutive kills from Lilly gave the Cardinal an 8-5 lead in the second set before Mount Saint Mary took control. A 5-0 run put Plattsburgh State into a hole it could never climb out of. Although they closed to within a pair of points on five occasions, Mount Saint Mary seemed to have the answer every time, grabbing the momentum the Cardinals had accumulated through their small runs. A pair of kills and a service error from Mell tied the match as one-all via a 25-20 tally.
Kills from Diehl and Lilly finally gave the Cardinals their first lead of the third frame at 14-12, but Mount Saint Mary refused to give in. The squads battled through some back and forth points before the Knights went on a 5-1 run with the score tied at 19. With their backs against the wall, the Cardinals rallied to fight off three potential match points before taking a 25-24 lead after a termination from Cummings. Unfortunately, a 2-1 lead wasn’t in the cards as the Cardinals surrendered a 3-0 run to fall into a 2-1 hole going into the fourth set.
Mell produced a service ace and a kill before Cummings added a kill to stake the Cardinals to an early 3-0 lead in the deciding set before Mount Saint Mary clawed itself back in the match. Another Cummings kill would give the Cardinals a 4-3 lead, but that was the final time they would possess an advantage in the match. The Cardinals hit just .047 in the deciding set, picking up 10 costly errors in the woeful frame.
Despite Cummings’ career evening, the Cardinals were held to a .146 hitting percentage, slightly below the .148 Mount Saint Mary’s put up. Marchisatto passed out 22 assists while Kayla Nason finished with 21 helpers. Braun and Diehl each had three block assists while the latter added five kills. Lilly finished with eight kills for the Cardinals.
Mary Ann Raftery led Mount Saint Mary with 19 kills on 47 attempts.
The Cardinals will play their final two matches of the 2012 campaign today. First up is a 9 a.m. tilt against Nazareth College followed by a 1 p.m. match against Brooklyn College.