BRISTOL, R.I. — Taking part in a pair of arduous non-conference battles to open its 2013 campaign, the Cardinals (0-2) wound up on the wrong side of a 3-1 decision against St. John Fisher (1-1) before falling in straight sets to Roger Williams (2-0) at the Roger Williams University Invitational on Friday evening.
Setting the tone early, the Cardinals jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first set due to a termination from sophomore Jeanette Braun and an attack error by the enemy Cardinals.
Swapping points in the early stages of the frame, Plattsburgh State knotted matters at seven after an attack error by St. John Fisher’s Megan Miller. Regrettably, Plattsburgh State’s attack plan was slowed down by an inspired defensive effort by St. John Fisher.
Trailing 14-12, Plattsburgh State gave up an 11-3 run to the opposing set of Cardinals who took a 1-0 lead. Although they took 42 swings, the Cardinals connected for just eight kills in the first set. St. John Fisher was far more efficient, hitting .214 on 28 attempts.
Turning the tables in the second game, the Cardinals utilized a 5-0 run to take control of the set after trailing 11-9. Braun and Meghan Clifford slammed down kills during the decisive run, and the Cardinals wore down St. John Fisher’s front row blocking scheme by hitting .116 in the frame.
An additional kill from Braun and a pair of attack errors by Paige Wilson helped Plattsburgh State tie the match at one.
After their offensive success, Plattsburgh State found its scoring ways largely nullified by St. John Fisher in the final two sets. Although they hit -.073 and .030 in the final two sets respectively, the Cardinals were able to keep pace with St. John Fisher until the late stages of each set when the opposition pulled away to earn the win.
Rosi Cummings led the charge for Plattsburgh State with nine kills and 12 digs. Senior Amanda Wickers chipped in a match-high 28 digs in the losing effort. Sophomore Laura Diehl added six kills and Clifford chipped in a team-high 18 set assists.
Miller put forth a 12-kill 16-dig double-double to lead St. John Fisher which hit just .098 in the triumph.
A far tougher test loomed for the Cardinals in their second match of the day when they faced off against a 2012 NCAA Tournament squad in Roger Williams.
The Hawks kept considerable pressure on the Cardinals throughout the entire match thanks to an impressive attack plan coupled with crisp ball movement. The host squad blasted down 43 kills on 92 attempts for a .315 attack percentage while holding the Cardinals to a paltry .034 figure.
On a positive note, the Cardinals bounced back nicely after a one-sided first set that saw them trail by as many 12 points. Braun pulled the Cardinals to within one after another one of her kills made the second-set score 13-12, but a 6-0 run by the Hawks pumped more and more momentum into a pro-Roger Williams crowd.
Cummings helped the Cardinals make a last-ditch attempt to get back into the match when her kill trimmed the Roger Williams advantage to 21-18, but the Hawks prevented the visitors from getting any closer by closing out the set with a 4-1 spurt.
In the deciding frame, Roger Williams jumped out to a quick 14-4 lead that seemed to sap all the remaining energy out of the Cardinals. Plattsburgh State could get no closer than seven points away from knotting things up, and the Hawks improved to 2-0 on the opening day of their season.
Junior Maggie Schrantz posted a team-high six kills to pace the Cardinals in the second match while Clifford added another 15 set assists.
The Cardinals have another pair of matches on tap at the Roger Williams University Invitational on Saturday afternoon. At 11 a.m., Plattsburgh State will face off against Liberty League foe Union College before tangling with Rhode Island College at 12:30 p.m.