NEW PALTZ--The hosts ended the record-setting start to 2010 by the Clarkson University Volleyball team, but the Golden Knights rebounded to split Saturday's matches at the Hawks Invitational.
Clarkson, 12-1 overall this season, dropped Saturday's opening match to New Paltz in five sets, 8-25, 23-25, 27-25, 25-15, 25-13, but came right back to sweep Fredonia in three straight sets, 25-22, 25-18, 25-18.
After coming from behind against Ithaca College on Friday, the Knights had the tables turned on them against New Paltz, leading by two sets before the host-team took the next three to claim the match. Junior Sara Artus (St. Regis Falls, NY) recorded 22 kills to lead the Knights, while Megan Mahon (Irvine, CA) and Courtney Haines (Crestview, FL) added 17 and 12 kills, respectively. For the second straight match, freshman setter Lani Durio (Austin, TX) established a career-high in assists, this time producing 51 sets for the Knights' hitters. Defensively, the Knights were led by senior libero Alison Schroeder (Webster, NY) and her 26 digs.
The Knights recovered quickly from their first set back of the season, beating Fredonia in straight sets. Artus led the team with 12 kills, but Mahon proved to be equally efficient with 11 kills and just a single error in 30 swings. Durio contributed 22 assists in the match, while Schroeder and Holly McDaniel (Hacienda Heights, CA) had 15 and 11 digs, respectively.
"Until 22-18 in the third set, and up 2-0 against New Paltz, we played our best I've seen this team play so far," head coach Johan Dulfer stated. "We started playing scared when New Paltz made a run and the tables turned. That's a lesson we need to learn: to finish when we are playing well. I am very proud that we were able to come back and put pressure on Fredonia right away. That was a very good win for us and I think we matured in the process. I think 3-1 at this tournament is a great result given the level of competition, but deep inside we are going be hungry for revenge."