---- — COLCHESTER, Vt. — Just 12 points decided the match between the Plattsburgh State volleyball team and St. Michael’s, but unfortunately none of the set scores had the Cardinals in front as they dropped a 3-0 decision to the Purple Knights on Wednesday.
With the 25-19, 25-21, 25-23 setback, the Cardinals fall to 7-10 while the Purple Knights improve to 9-5.
Eager to exact revenge on the Purple Knights after a 3-0 loss to their Vermont foes in the 2012 Cardinal Classic, the Cardinals got off to a shaky start but were quickly able to right the ship.
After surrendering the three of the first four points of the match, the Cardinals were able to get right back into things thanks in large part to the Purple Knight. Miscues on the part of the home team accounted for three of the next six points for the Cardinals and a service ace off the hand of Theresa Lilly coupled with terminations from Jeanette Braun and Laura Diehl gave the Cardinals an 8-6 advantage in the early part of the first set.
A two-point lead was as large as the margin would get for the Cardinals, though. Maggie Schrantz made it 12-10 Plattsburgh State with one of the seven Cardinal kills in the frame before the Purple Knights employed a 9-2 run to take control of the first set for good. The Cardinals fought back to within three points on two occasions down, but were unable to close the gap any further, falling 25-19 in the first set.
For the most past, momentum was a difficult commodity to come by in the second set. After the Purple Knights took an early 5-2 lead, the Cardinals responded with a 6-1 run of their own thanks largely to Diehl who picked up two kills and a block assist during the stretch.
Neither team was willing to back down, with no lead being more than two points until the final points of the set. After a St. Martin’s service error put the Cardinals up 21-20, the Purple Knights ripped off five straight points to take the set. A pair of attack errors by the Cardinals during the deciding stretch was part of the reason the Cardinals found themselves in a 2-0 hole.
Once again, it was a back-and-forth set in the deciding frame. The Purple Knights were able to take a 14-11 lead before Kristen Marchisatto decided to put the Cardinals ahead. The freshman out of Massapequa, N.Y., was the catalyst of a 6-0 run for the visitors that featured a trio of service aces courtesy of Marchisatto.
After a 4-0 run by the Purple Knights, Mell responded with two kills as part of a 3-0 spurt to put the Cardinals up 20-18. Regrettably, the Purple Knights tied things up once again before the squad swapped the next four points of the match to knot matters at 22. A service and a pair of backbreaking terminations from Chelsey Covitz would seal things for St. Michael’s via a 25-23 tally.
Mell led the way for the Cardinals with a team-high nine kills while Schrantz added seven on 18 swings to go along with a team-high 15 digs. Rosi Cummings also accumulated 15 of the 61 Plattsburgh State digs while Kayla Nason paced the Cardinals in assists, dishing out 24 helpers in the three-set affair. The Cardinals outpaced their foes on the front line, racking up three blocks compared to none by St. Michael’s.
Covitz captained the Purple Knights with a match-high 16 kills on 30 attempts for a .433 attack percentage.
Still looking to return to the win column, the Cardinals head to the Big Apple on Friday to take part in the Baruch Quad Invitational. The Cardinals play their first of three matches in the invitational against Medaille College. The two teams will square off at 7 p.m. on Friday on the campus of Baruch College before the Cardinals engage in a pair of Saturday showdowns.