POTSDAM -- The SUNY Potsdam volleyball team lost consecutive matches for the second straight day Saturday, falling in three sets against Cortland and New Paltz at the State University of New York Athletic Conference East Division Pool Play event at Welsh Gymnasium.
In their first match of the day, the Bears (6-23 overall, 1-7 SUNYAC) were defeated
25-21, 27-25, 25-22 in a tightly-contested match against Cortland.
Potsdam was knocked off by New Paltz in its final home match of 2010 by a 25-20,
25-5, 25-21 count.
The weekend marked the final home matches of Bears senior captain Erica Romaniello's career. A Selden, N.Y., native, Romaniello was a steady contributor for all four of her seasons and has started at libero for the last two years. She has led the team in digs in back-to-back seasons, and was third in the conference heading into the weekend in digs per set.
In a match characterized by long rallies and thrilling play against Cortland,
Potsdam led for good portions of the first two sets and seized momentum late to make the third set close. In the second, the Bears led 24-23 on serve, but the Red
Dragons (26-7, 6-1) surged to win three of four points and end the set.
Outside hitters Sam Strader (Watertown, N.Y.) and Annie Smith (Burke, N.Y.) combined for 18 kills to lead the offense. Romaniello finished with 19 digs, while freshman Dakota Pruiss (Wallkill, N.Y.) tallied 12 digs and four kills.
Against New Paltz (22-10, 6-2), the Bears led most of the third set, falling in six
straight points after holding a 20-18 advantage.
Strader and sophomore Anne Fildes (Red Hook, N.Y.) paced the offense with six kills apiece. Romaniello registered a team-high 21 digs.
Potsdam returns to action this Tuesday, Oct. 26, at cross-town rival Clarkson at 7
p.m. The Bears suffered a pair of three-set defeats against the Golden Knights
earlier this season, the most recent coming on Oct. 6.