Canton, NY – After a long break in the schedule, the Clarkson University Volleyball team didn't appear to have much rust, cruising to a 3-0 victory over St. Lawrence University, 25-8, 25-15, 27-25, to open up a key portion of the Liberty League slate Wednesday evening.
The Golden Knights, receiving votes in the latest AVCA poll, improved to 9-4 overall and 1-0 in the Liberty League, while the Saints saw their mark fall to 8-5 overall and 0-1 in conference games.
In the opening set, Clarkson and the Saints essentially traded points in the early going, but Clarkson rattled off a 14-2 streak to take control of the set and never looked back. The second set saw the Knights continue the momentum, scoring nine of the first 10 points and maintaining the advantage throughout the match. Clarkson was dominating offensively, hitting .550 in the first set, and had 29 kills and just three errors in the first two sets.
It wasn't until the third set that the Saints started playing with a little more confidence, scoring four of the first five, but the Knights once again began to assert themselves and gained a sizeable advantage. However, St. Lawrence scored eight straight to regain a late lead, 23-21. Clarkson's serve-receive picked up the pace and took advantage of some errors, allowing Victoria Kirkemo (Centennial, CO) to crush home a kill cross court to end the set and the match.
"Any conference road win is a good win," head coach Johan Dulfer remarked, "especially with our new automatic qualifier. We wanted to start our conference season well, and I thought our first two sets we really dominated. St. Lawrence is improved, well-coached, and always dangerous, especially in their own gym. I'm especially proud of how we closed out the third set after letting up for a few point towards the end."
Clarkson was solid while serving, tossing up 14 aces, including four by Kirkemo and Erika Chin (Katy, TX) and three more by Kirstie Shurie (LaCanada, CA). Kirkemo finished with a team-best 12 kills and Aishvina Arasu (Brea, CA) added in 10 more kills. Chin led the team with 18 digs and Lani Durio (Austin, TX) produced 38 assists.