The St. Lawrence University volleyball team lost a pair of close contests on Friday night in the Burkman Gymnasium, as the Saints hosted a court for the 2012 Victory Promotions Invitational with Potsdam State. The Saints fell 3-1 to Plattsburgh State before falling in five sets to Southern Vermont, 3-2.
St. Lawrence, 2-4 on the young season, had several players out of their normal positions on Friday night. Meanwhile, the Cardinals and Mountaineers improved to 4-1 and 4-0 with the wins.
The Scarlet and Brown dropped the opening two games to Plattsburgh State 25-19 and 25-21 before battling back in the third. The Saints won game three 25-18 and went back-and-forth with the Cardinals in the fourth game before falling 25-23.
"I could not be more proud of our team in terms of the ‘fight' that they showed in our opening match tonight," said St. Lawrence head coach Shelly Roiger. "We had several players out of position and for them to come out and play with the heart that they did is a true testament to their resiliency."
Sophomore co-captain Jenna Street finished with a team-high eight kills against Plattsburgh State while posting only one error. Fellow captains Anna Kassab (20 assists, 15 digs) and Katie Prue (22 digs) also had solid numbers in the opener.
St. Lawrence would rebound in their second match against Southern Vermont, opening with an impressive 25-23 win to set the tone. However, the Mountaineers were able to win games two and three, 25-22 and 25-20, to put the Saints' backs against the wall. This time, though, St. Lawrence was able to grind out a 25-19 win to force the deciding fifth game. Despite a 15-7 defeat in the determining game, Coach Roiger believes they'll take plenty away from the night.
"I thought we did a lot of very good things tonight against a talented Southern Vermont squad. Their defense is much improved and their offense is high powered as usual," said Coach Roiger. "I thought our athleticism and sound decision making kept us in the match and the scrappiness factor continues to improve with our team. I love that we battled but I hate that in the end of the night, we were 0-2 today. With as hard as our team played today, they deserved a win."
First-year student Mariah Dignan led the defensive efforts against Southern Vermont with a team-high 16 digs, and was one of five Saints in double-figures in that statistic. Offensively, fellow rookie Rebecca Doser had a stand-out effort, posting 14 kills and only three errors for a .407 hitting percentage. Kassab added 28 assists as well.
The Saints will take on St. Michael's in tomorrow's opening match at 11:00am in the Burkman Gymnasium. St. Lawrence will then play Oswego State at 3:00pm in the final match of the 2012 Victory Promotions Invitational.