November 3, 2013

Cardinals split at Dig Pink Invitational


---- — ONEONTA — In its final pair of tune-up meets before the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) Volleyball Championship Tournament begins, the Plattsburgh State volleyball team took down Ithaca College 3-1 before falling to host institution Oneonta State 3-1 on the final day of the Dig Pink Invitational.

Rosi Cummings was named to her fourth All-Tournament Team of the season after helping her squad to a 3-1 record at the invitational.

Although the Cardinals emerged victorious, Ithaca was the team that came out ready to play at the opening serve. The Bombers began the first set with a 4-1 run and upped their lead to 7-3 before Plattsburgh State settled into its offense.

A 5-0 scoring streak headlined by a pair of kills from sophomore Jeanette Braun and culminating with the first of four service aces by Kristen Marchisotto gave the designated home squad their first lead of the match.

After the teams exchanged leads, Maggie Schrantz and Laura Diehl teamed up and lead the Cardinals on another 5-0 spurt. Trailing 11-10, each member of the aforementioned duo hammered down a pair of kills before joining forces for a block to give their squad the lead for the remainder of the set.

Ithaca managed to close to within two points, 17-15, but a trio of kills from Braun highlighted an 8-1 run by Plattsburgh State to finish the set and give the Cardinals a 1-0 advantage in the match. During the set, the Cardinals amassed an attack percentage of .378 while allowing the Bombers to hit just .079 as a team.

During the second frame, both teams had little trouble building up a lead but neither was very skilled at keeping it. Down 22-21, the Cardinals used terminations from Schrantz and Cummings coupled with an Ithaca attack error to put them one point away from a 2-0 lead.

The Bombers, though, had other ideas and fought off two set points by the Cardinals to push the frame to extra points. An attack error by Cummings and a solo block by Ithaca’s Shaelynn Schmidt put the finishing touches on an Ithaca victory in the second frame and knotted the bout at one set each.

After their victory, the Bombers were able to build up and maintain a lead over the Cardinals in the early stages of the third set before Plattsburgh State’s service game gave it the lead for good. On the wrong end of an 11-10 tally, the Cardinals used a 3-0 run which included back-to-back service aces from Meghan Clifford to grab the lead.

From there, the Bombers committed eight errors which helped Plattsburgh State’s lead grow to as many as eight points in the frame. Schrantz finished the set with another kill, sending the teams to the deciding frame.

Plattsburgh State didn’t see its offense slow in the slightest during the fourth set. Three attack errors by the Bombers combined with a service ace from Schrantz as well as a solo block by Diehl allowed the Cardinals to begin the set on a 5-0 run.

From that point on, the Cardinals never looked back, taking the one-sided set 25-13 as well as the match by a 3-1 tally.

Schrantz led the way offensively for the Cardinals, accumulating a match-high 16 kills to go along with a pair of service aces, nine digs and three block assists. Braun added 12 kills of her own, hitting a match-high .550.

Taking over at the libero position, Jackie Mariotti scooped up a match-high 21 digs. As a team, the Cardinals outhit the Bombers .203 to .013 and racked up 11 service aces.

The host Red Dragons prevented the Cardinals from enjoying a 4-0 weekend at the Dig Pink Invitational on the strength of 13 service aces and eight blocks.

Plattsburgh State bested the Red Dragons in SUNYAC Pool Play earlier in 2013, but a season sweep was not meant to be. The Cardinals couldn’t reach the 20-point plateau until the third set rolled around, and trimmed Oneonta’s lead to 2-1 with a lopsided 25-11 victory in that frame.

The Red Dragons, though, buckled down and took the match with a 25-18 triumph in set four.

Schrantz put down a match-high 11 kills for the Cardinals while All-Tournament Team member Cummings added 10 more as well as a team-high 16 digs. Marchisotto (15) and Clifford (13) 28 of the 33 assists during the match for the Cardinals.

Erica Darpino led Oneonta State with 11 kills.

With their regular season schedule in the history books, the Cardinals turn their attention to the SUNYAC Volleyball Championship Tournament. Plattsburgh State will travel to New Paltz on Friday as the No. 4 seed in the tournament and take on the SUNY Potsdam Bears who are the No. 5 seed. Plattsburgh State’s first SUNYAC Championship Tournament match in a decade will begin at 6 p.m.