POTSDAM - Knowing that St. Lawrence had improved since the first meeting in September, the Clarkson University Volleyball team knew it would be in for a fight with the Saints Tuesday night, but fortunately for theGolden Knights the result was the same as the Green and Gold marked another notch in the win column with a 22-25, 25-16, 25-22, 26-24 victory over the Saints at Alumni Gymnasium.
The Golden Knights improved to 23-3 overall and 8-1 in the Liberty League, while St. Lawrence fell to 17-11 and 6-3. Clarkson moved to within another victory of claiming the regular season title. With two more victories, regardless of tiebreakers, the Knights will win the crown.
Clarkson came out a little flat in the first set and had some trouble on the serve-receive, especially when St. Lawrence's Katie Prue was on the back line. The Knights lost the first frame, 25-22, but rallied to take the next one easily, 25-16, and held on for a 25-22 victory in the third set.
Despite a small advantage in the fourth set for Clarkson, St. Lawrence rallied and took a 19-14 edge in the fourth set, forcing a timeout by Clarkson. However, the Knights were able to slowly get back into the match and claimed a 23-22 lead. Back-to-back points by St. Lawrence put the Saints in position to force a fifth set, but Clarkson scored the final three points to finish out the match, including an ace from Becca Brabec (Lemont, IL) that ended it.
"Sometimes a win is a win," head coach Johan Dulfer said. "It wasn't pretty today, but a lot of credit goes to St. Lawrence. They are a well-coached team with a lot of heart and they gave us all we could handle today. Even though we didn't play our best, I thought we showed a lot of character and battled right to the end. It appears that we are learning how to grow in a game and play our best towards the end."
Sara Artus (St. Regis Falls) finished with 16 kills and 4 blocks, while Brabec contributed 13 kills, 13 digs, and 4 aces. Bailey Walker (Centennial, CO) aslo added 10 kills and a pair of blocks and Adrienne Walker (Centennial, CO) produced eight kills. Lani Durio (Austin, TX) keyed the offense with 44 assists, and Erika Chin (Katy, TX) and Kristen Orlandini (Fairport) kept points alive on the back row with 17 and 11 digs, respectively.
For St. Lawrence, Nyasha Miller played well on both offense and defense with 12 kills and 13 digs. Katie Prue added three service aces and kept the Knights off balance each time she served while also adding 11 digs. Anna Kassab and Jenna Street split setting duties with 14 and 12 assists, respectively.