POTSDAM — It has been quite some time since the Plattsburgh State volleyball team has made this much noise in the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC). To be precise, no Plattsburgh State squad since the 2003 edition has managed to earn more than three conference victories in a single season.
That particular streak came to an end on Saturday afternoon in Potsdam when the Cardinals (11-12, 4-2 SUNYAC) continued to prove that they are a team on the rise after triumphs over former SUNYAC unbeaten SUNY Potsdam and long-time rival Oswego State.
There were few things the Cardinals didn’t do extremely well as Plattsburgh State handed the host Bears (12-11, 4-1 SUNYAC) their first SUNYAC setback of the 2013 campaign. Through the course of the five-set thriller, Plattsburgh State hit an efficient .418 as a team and held a 10-2 blocking advantage over their North Country rivals.
Much like what transpired on Friday evening, the Cardinals spent the first set trying to identify the weak points in their opponents’ offensive and defensive schemes. Although the SUNY Potsdam hit .353 to emerge victorious in the first set via a 25-21 tally, Plattsburgh State was able to figure out exactly how to give the Bears fits for the rest of the match.
A shored-up defensive game plan helped the Cardinals limit the Bears to a .185 attack percentage in the second set.
Plattsburgh State’s offense came to life as well, helping the Cardinals knot the match at one set each thanks to a 25-19 score.
SUNY Potsdam came away with their final victory of the match when they took a 2-1 lead thanks to a 25-20 third set. From there, Plattsburgh State relied on the tandem of Rosi Cummings and Laura Diehl to come back and earn their third SUNYAC victory of the season.
Cummings hammered down a match-high 18 kills on just 35 swings and completed yet another double-double with a team-high 17 digs. The most efficient player on the floor, Diehl added another 14 terminations for the Cardinals while hitting a match-high .737. The towering sophomore out of Manorville, N.Y., also added three solo blocks and a quartet of block assists.
In addition to Cummings, Maggie Schrantz (17), Amanda Wickers (16) and Meghan Clifford (11) also finished the match with double-digit dig numbers. Kristen Marchisotto passed out 27 assists for the Cardinals while Clifford added 21 more.
SUNYAC standout Jenna Blujus recorded a triple-double of 13 kills, 24 assists and 23 digs for the Bears in the losing effort. SUNY Potsdam did record nine service aces compared to just four by the Cardinals, but hit .207 as a team.
Continuing their extraordinary efforts from the first match, Diehl and Cummings made things miserable for Oswego State (14-11, 1-5 SUNYAC) all match long, and the Cardinals took a 3-1 decision over the Lakers to finish the first three-match SUNYAC winning streak for Plattsburgh State since the 2002 campaign.
Continuing their weekend trend, Plattsburgh State fell behind early as Oswego State took a 26-24 decision in the first set. After that setback, though, the Cardinals reeled off three consecutive set victories to grab the win.
Diehl was nearly unstoppable for Plattsburgh State, finishing with 17 kills and no attack errors on 19 attempts. Her hitting percentage of .895 was a match high and the sophomore added another four solo blocks and one block assist to the Plattsburgh State cause. Cummings complimented the efforts of Diehl with 12 terminations of her own and a .550 hitting percentage.
Clifford was the main distributor for the Cardinals in their second match of the day, finishing with a match-high 29 assists while Marchisotto added 19. In addition to her passing game, Clifford added four of the six Plattsburgh State service aces during the match. Braun totaled four block assists and a solo block for the Cardinals who amassed 10 blocks during the four-set bout.
As a team, Plattsburgh State hit .500 and limited the Lakers to a mark of .132. Emma Moriarty (13) and Sabrina Sutton (12) led Oswego State in kills.
Plattsburgh State will enjoy a break of 13 days before their next slate of matches commences. The Cardinals will set their sights on the remaining three SUNYAC matches, and will try to make it to the SUNYAC Championship Tournament for the first time since the 2003 campaign. On Friday, October 25, Plattsburgh State will head to Geneseo to face off against Fredonia State at 5 p.m. in their final SUNYAC Pool Play weekend of the season.