Potsdam, NY – Thanks to a strong serving effort that included 32 aces in just six sets, the Clarkson University Volleyball team easily outdistanced the competition at the Victory Promotions Invitational on Saturday afternoon.
The Golden Knights, ranked 23rd in the AVCA poll, improved to 6-2 overall with a three-set win over Norwich (25-7, 25-8, 25-10) and a three-set victory over Plattsburgh State (25-13, 25-6, 25-11). Clarkson will travel to California next weekend to take on a strong group of competitors, including fourth-ranked Elmhurst.
The Golden Knights opened up the morning with an overwhelming sweep of Norwich, as the Cadets struggled mightily with Clarkson's serving game. The Green and Gold had 18 aces in the match, led by seven from Erika Chin (Katy, TX). Chin recorded Clarkson's fourth point in the first set with her 200th career ace, and then added the fifth, sixth, and seventh points as well, all on three more consecutive aces. Offensively, the Knights were led by junior Brooke Butkovsky (Monroe, CT), who had nine kills and just a pair of errors in 13 swings, and recorded kills on her first seven swings of the match. Classmate Adrienne Walker (Centennial, CO) also added in nine kills with two errors on 17 swings and senior Xiao Liang (Tianjin, China) tossed in five kills on seven swings to go along with five aces. Overall, the Knights hit .397 in the match.
In the second match, Clarkson again put its opponent on their heels with strong serving, including a long stretch in the second set where Erika Chin continued to produce an impressive string of aces. For the second straight match, Chin had seven aces, adding in 19 digs and four assists. Lani Durio (Austin, TX) also had 21 assists, leading a diverse offensive attack.
"We came into the weekend wanting to try to win the tournament, but mostly focused on getting better at the things we prioritize in practice," said head coach Johan Dulfer. "I saw improvement in offensive transitioning, serving, defense, and we continued to become a team this weekend. So, all in all, we're happy with the weekend."