ITHACA, N.Y. – The SUNY Potsdam volleyball team (19-11, 2-2 SUNYAC) swept the final day of the Ithaca Invitational to finish 3-1 for the tournament. The Bears defused the Ithaca Bombers (10-11) in four sets and derailed the Wells College Express (2-23), 3-0. Freshman outside hitter Rachel Auerbach earned All-Tournament team honors for her performance over the weekend.
Potsdam battled in a close match against the Ithaca Bombers to start day two. The Bomber held off Potsdam in the first set to win, 25-22. The Bears fell behind early in the second set before rallying behind the serve of freshman defensive specialist Allie Romaniello to get the decision, 25-23. Potsdam rode the momentum and never looked back. The Bears claimed the final two games 26-24 and 25-8 to defeat Ithaca for the first time in Head Coach Steve Pike's tenure. Auerbach posted another season high for the Bears with 19 kills, 10 assists, and 11 digs. Junior setter Jenna Blujus totaled 34 assists and 16 digs. Senior libero Jill Dye contributed 13 digs, respectively.
“I'm really proud with the way we kept battling,” said Coach Pike. “I thought that our hard work ethic showed during the match. Rachel did a great job on the ride side. Jill Dye did a tremendous job defensively and led our serve/receive. Jenna did a great job distributing the ball to our hitters as well.”
The Bears continued with their success in the final contest of the tournament. Potsdam came out of the gate swinging and was able to hold off the Wells College charge in the first set. The momentum fueled the Bears attack as they dominated the next two sets to defeat the Express in three straight games. Senior middle hitter Anne Fildes led the Bears attack with nine kills. Blujus finished with 34 assists and nine digs. Dye led the team with 16 digs.
“It was an entire team effort and we played good consistent volleyball throughout the match,” said Pike. “We executed well on offense and in our service game and were able to keep them off balance.”
The Bears return to action Friday, Oct. 19th versus Cortland for SUNYAC East Pool play hosted by SUNY New Paltz. First serve is set for 5 p.m.