---- — NEW YORK — The Plattsburgh State volleyball team saw its 2012 season come to a close, as the Cardinals split their final two matches of the season on the final day of the New York State Challenge hosted by New York University Saturday.
Plattsburgh State opened the match against Nazareth with a 3-1 spurt thanks to a termination from Jeanette Braun and a block from senior Rosi Cummings and freshman Laura Diehl, but the Cardinals had a difficult time trying to establish consistent offense.
A 6-1 run by Nazareth put the Golden Flyers in command of the set, and left the Cardinals searching for answers. Registering just eight kills on 29 attempts in the first frame, the Cardinals couldn’t penetrate the Nazareth defense for a large portion of the frame. On the other side of the ball, the Golden Flyers were able to seemingly terminate at will, hitting .257 in a 25-15 set one triumph.
After Abby Mell started off the second frame with a service ace, Nazareth went on a quick 5-0 run before Cummings righted the ship with one of her seven kills. After the next point was won by Nazareth, the Cardinals employed a multi-pronged attack strategy as part of a 6-0 run to take an 8-6 lead.
Just as Maggie Schrantz hammered home a kill to make things 16-12 Cardinals, an 8-0 run from Nazareth allowed them to capture the momentum.
Plattsburgh State committed five untimely attack errors during the devastating run and was never able to fully recover. An attack error by the Golden Flyers and another service ace from Clifford staved off two potential match points before Amy Johnson committed the set-clinching kill for Nazareth.
Unwilling to back down easy, the Cardinals jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the early minutes of the deciding frame thanks in large part to Diehl. The Manorville, N.Y., product had a kill and an impressive solo block during the run.
The Cardinals had another lead, this one of the 15-12 variety after Amanda Wickers produced a kill, but a 4-0 run by Nazareth gave the Golden Flyers the confidence they needed for the remainder of the match. Tied at 19, a service ace and a kill were part of a 3-0 run for Nazareth before a kill from Diehl and an ace from Mell knotted things at 22.
A pair of Plattsburgh State attack errors, though, combined with a kill from Johnson gave the Golden Flyers a 25-22 victory in the deciding set.
Johnson and Olivia Harrigan led a balanced Nazareth attack with nine kills each. Aubery Cooke had a match-high 30 assists while Brittany Crocetti produced a match-high 23 digs.
Thanks in large part to Schrantz and Diehl, the Cardinals were able to close out their 2012 campaign on a winning note as they throttled Brooklyn in straight sets. Diehl finished with a match-high 13 kills while Schrantz followed up with 12 terminations of her own. Each player hit .435 in the match, helping the Cardinals to a .337 team attack percentage in the rout.
Plattsburgh State trailed just once in the one-sided affair after a service ace from Brooklyn made it 3-2 in favor of the Bulldogs. In addition to the strong outing from the attacking aspect of things, the Cardinals also put their serving prowess on display, amassing eight aces including two each by Mell, Wickers and Nason.
Diehl finished the match with a solo block and a pair of block assists to help the Cardinals own a 4-1 blocking advantage over their foes. Defense was an integral part of the Plattsburgh State victory, as the squad showed few problems as it limited Brooklyn to an .051 attack percentage.
The Cardinals finish their 2012 campaign with a 13-20 mark that included a 1-7 showing in SUNYAC play.