CANTON --The SUNY Potsdam volleyball team (1-1) split its two matches on opening day at the SUNY Canton Invitational. The Bears opened play with an early afternoon 3-0 setback to the host Roos (2-0), before bouncing back for a late evening 3-2 win over SUNYIT (0-2).
Against the Roos, Potsdam fell by scores 25-20, 25-19 and 25-9. In her first action in a Bears uniform since Oct. 20, 2010, graduate student outside hitter Annie Smith (Chateauguay, N.Y./Chateauguay) led Potsdam offensively with eight kills. Senior outside hitter Tia Wright (Vestal, N.Y./Vestal) finished the match with two kills, two digs and two-and-a-half blocks.
Junior outside hitter Chelsea Sunday (Akwesasne, N.Y./Salmon River) returned to the Potsdam lineup for the first time since Nov. 11, 2005 and added three kills and three digs. Senior outside hitter Sharon Ofori (Bronx, N.Y./John F. Kennedy) totaled three kills and sophomore defensive specialist Sloane Campbell (Scotia, N.Y./Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake) chipped in a team-high seven digs.
In the nightcap against the Wildcats, the Bears fell 25-15 in the first set before responding with a 25-14 victory in set two. SUNYIT put Potsdam on the brink with a 25-21 win in the third set, before the Bears rallied for 25-23 and 15-12 victories in the fourth and fifth. Freshman setter Rachel Topf (Eagle River, Alaska/Chugiak) had a strong performance for Potsdam with six kills, 35 assists and 16 digs. Sunday added to her total for the day with a game-high 13 kills to go with nine digs.
Wright finished with nine kills, seven digs and two-and-a-half blocks. Campbell posted a game-high 17 digs, while senior libero Gabby Arana (Williston Park, N.Y./Herricks) rounded out the leaders with 12 digs.
Potsdam is back in action today afternoon at 3 p.m. when the Bears face Wells College to close out the tournament.