CORTLAND -- The St. Lawrence University volleyball team split its opening matches of the 2014 season at the 30th Annual Red Dragon Classic in Cortland, NY. The Saints opened with a 3-0 shutout win over the University of Rochester, making head coach Shelly Roiger the winningest coach in the volleyball team's history, before falling to hosting SUNY Cortland by the same 3-0 mark.
The Saints opened the season with three tight games against the Yellowjackets, but edging their opponents 25-23, 25-22, 25-20 to earn the sweep. St. Lawrence hit over .200 in all three games, while Rochester was done in by 19 hitting errors over the three games.
"Our win against Rochester was a hard fought battle. They were a great opponent for the first match of the year, and I felt like our defense led to very solid offense," said Coach Roiger, who earned her 78th career win at St. Lawrence to move atop the all-time wins list. "Our energy fueled our performance."
Sophomores Amanda Brooks and Rebecca Briggs had solid hitting performances in the win, as Brooks had seven kills and no errors (.500) while Briggs added five kills to a single error (.364). Senior captain Jenna Street had 18 assists and three aces to lead the squad, while Masha Kolesnikova had 11 digs in her opening match with the Scarlet and Brown.
Rochester's Ashley Hunter finished with a match-high 19 digs for the Yellowjackets, while Jennie Ford had a match-high eight kills. Xiaoyi Li finished with 13 assists in the loss.
The Saints were unable to match their opening performance against SUNY Cortland in the second showdown of the tournament, as the Red Dragons cruised to a 25-17, 25-14, 25-15 victory. Seven hitting errors in the opening game put St. Lawrence behind 1-0, with Cortland then putting together an outstanding performance in game two with 13 kills to only a single error (.480).
"We lost our focus against Cortland and come out very lackadaisical. The same amount of energy that led to our earlier win was completely absent in our second match," said Coach Roiger. "I'm looking forward to seeing our team play focused, energetic and with high intensity as we face two excellent opponents tomorrow."
Cristina Deschaine had a solid outing, hitting .636 with seven kills and no errors for the Saints, while Katarina Marzeski and Maddy Ruehl each had four kills. Rookie Katie Kull had a team-high 13 assists in the match, while Street had a team-high seven digs. Mary Kelly led the SUNY Cortland with eight kills and a block, while Liz Roberts had 25 assists.
St. Lawrence will be in action again tomorrow, Saturday, August 30 in Cortland, NY against Fredonia State (11am) and Hiram College (1:30pm).