SCHENECTADY – The SUNY Potsdam volleyball team (15-9, 2-2 SUNYAC) split Day One of the Union Invitational Friday evening.
The Bears fell to Skidmore College (13-4) in three sets and then rebounded to defeat Lehman College (8-5) in the final contest of the night, 3-0.
Potsdam fought hard in all three sets but fell just short against Skidmore. The Bears led in the first two sets but could not close the gate on the Thoroughbreds. Potsdam battled in each game falling 22-25, 24-26, and 21-25. Freshman outside hitter Rachel Auerbach finished with 10 kills and three service aces. Junior setter Jenna Blujus led the team with 23 assists and 11 digs. Senior libero Jill Dye contributed 10 digs, respectively.
“We didn't execute offensively at key moments throughout the match,” said Head Coach Steve Pike. “They beat us in a tough three sets and give credit to Skidmore for staying consistent and executing.”
The Bears found their rhythm in the second match of the night defeating Lehman in three straight sets. Potsdam controlled the Lightning with their serve and a balanced attack.
The Bears received a boost from senior middle hitter Anne Fildes, junior middle hitter Sara Anderson, and sophomore outside hitter Stephanie Vlad throughout the game. Auerbach led the Bears attack again with 12 kills, hitting over .500 in the match. Blujus added 23 assists and Dye finished with six digs.
“We served tough and kept them out of system the entire match,” said Pike. “We were able to run our offense efficiently and that was the key to our second match.”
Coach Pike noted the team effort put forth in the match.
“We had contributions from everyone on the team. Jenna did a great job running the offense and Rachel hit very well on the outside. Sara, Anne, and Stephanie were able to set the tone early in the match and that was a key to our success.”
The Bears will face Union College today at 11 a.m. and Keene State at 2 p.m. to conclude the tournament.