POTSDAM - A win over SUNY Cortland in womens volleyball highlighted the past weeks action for the SUNY Potsdam fall sports teams.
It was quite a start to conference play for the SUNY Potsdam volleyball team as it put the finishing touches on what turned into the most riveting weekend of play this season.
Building off their conference-opening victory on Friday, the Bears doubled up by picking up two critical SUNYAC victories on Saturday at SUNY Cortland.
And, there was no shortage of exhilarating moments as Potsdam (9-9 overall, 3-0 SUNYAC) dug deep for a rallying five-set win against Cortland (10-10, 1-1), a team that has controlled the series in recent years. The Bears last defeated the Red Dragons on Sept. 19, 2008. Prior to that, Potsdam had last defeated Cortland on Oct. 26, 1984.
But Potsdam wasnt done. The Bears followed by taking care of business in a four-set victory against another SUNYAC foe Oswego (11-9, 0-3). So, in less than 20 hours, Potsdam has ascended themselves to the top of the SUNYAC standings with a sparkling undefeated mark.
After dropping the first two sets against Cortland, Potsdam displayed dogged determination to fight back for a 16-25, 17-25, 25-18, 25-12, 17-15 win.
Senior setter/right side Jenna Blujus (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) poured in her sixth triple double of the season with 20 assists, 18 digs and 11 kills. Junior outside hitter Liza Fields gave her biggest statistical performance with a season-high 13 kills and 16 digs.
In the second match, Potsdam topped Oswego 25-22, 16-25, 25-18, 25-14 behind a season-high 15 kills from senior outside hitter Dakota Pruiss (Wallkill, N.Y.).
On Friday, the Bears made short work of Oneonta State by picking up the sweep (26-24.25-15, 25-21).
Senior setter/right side Jenna Blujus (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) provided another consistent outing with 13 assists, 10 digs, nine kills and three aces. Senior setter Lauren Manzo (Clovis, Calif.) backed up her with 10 assists, six digs and four aces. Further, the Bears offense produced a balanced offensive attack as Liza Fields (Duanesburg, N.Y.), Sara Anderson (Lake George, N.Y.) and Dakota Pruiss (Wallkill, N.Y.) had six kills apiece.
The golf team put together its best performance of the season to edge the host Kangaroos for the 2013 SUNY Canton Invitational Title. The Bears shot a combined 321 to match Canton, but had better individual performances to win the tiebreaker. Potsdam sophomore John Hickey finished second overall with a 78, falling just short of the individual title in a two-hole playoff. St. Lawrence was third with a 344. SUNY ESF was fourth with a 347 and Cantons B team rounded out the competitors with a 361.
Senior Harrison Davenport was fourth with a round of 80 and sophomore Kevin Doherty was just a stroke behind to tie for fifth place. Sophomore Conor Talty was seventh overall with an 82 and junior Ryan Merriman sealed Potsdams win with an 83 to tie for eighth. Merrimans 83 was five strokes ahead of Cantons fifth finisher Nolan Reid to give the Bears the tiebreaker.
The soccer team improved to 3-0-1 against SUNY Canton in the Boyd Jones Cup with a 2-0 victory Wednesday night. Junior assistant captain Kristin Webster and freshman midfielder Kaylen Van Wagner scored for the Bears.
Canton is still looking for its first goal in Jones Cup play since the series started in 2010.
Potsdam wasted no time getting on the board in the first half. Webster was awarded a long direct kick in the sixth minute. Roos freshman goalie Brittany Rotach, a St. Lawrence Central product, appeared to have a bead on the ball, but it slipped through her hands for a Bears score.
At 21:39, junior captain Kate Clauss set up Van Wagner who beat Rotach with another long shot. Potsdam didnt score again in the period, but controlled the play from midfield. Canton was held without a shot until 38th minute.
Potsdam freshman goalkeeper Michaela Cole, a former Parishville-Hopkinton standout, earned the victory without a save in the first half. Fellow Bears freshman goalie Lauren Haase made three saves in the second half to preserve the shutout.
Potsdam outshot Canton 19-6 and edged the Roos in corner kicks 3-2.
On Saturday, Plattsburgh State scored an early goal and made it stand up as they edged the SUNY Potsdam 1-0.
Just 3:01 into the contest freshman forward Diana DiCocco fed senior defender Lauren Gonyea at the left side of the net. Gonyea fired a shot off the hands of Cole.
Potsdam is now 3-5-1 overall and 0-1 in SUNYAC play.
Plattsburgh State (7-1-1, 1-0 SUNYAC) scored three second half goals to pull away from the SUNY Potsdam mens soccer team (6-4, 0-1) for a 4-0 victory in the conference opener on Saturday afternoon. Chris Bowden scored twice for the Cardinals.
Plattsburgh held the edge in the play in the first half, outshooting Potsdam 11-3, but only four shots were on goal. The Bears defense held until late in the half. At 40:22, freshman goalkeeper Nick Davies left the contest with an injury. He was replaced by senior Stefan Sloma, who made his soccer debut after earning All-SUNYAC recognition as a lacrosse goalie last spring. The Cardinals greeted Sloma rudely just four seconds later.
Joe Aratari found Bowden right in front of the goal and he tapped it home.
Sloma was tagged with the loss, stopping three shots in 49:38. Davies also made three saves in just over 40 shutout minutes.
The womens cross country team placed eighth while the men finished 16th at the SUNYIT Wildcat Invitational in Marcy, N.Y. on Saturday.
Sophomore Hannah Groshner led the Bears by clocking in the 5K race at 21:19. It was the 13th best time overall. Fellow sophomore Olivia Rehm finished inside the top 25 with a time of 22:12. Sophomore Margaret McGrath was third on the Bears by crossing the line at 23:20.
SUNY ESF won the womens meet with a team score of 75. Junior Emily Middlebrook of Wells College recorded the top time at 20:11.
The Potsdam men scored a 421. Junior Joseph Rafter recorded the best Bears time with a 31:45 in the eight kilometer race. Junior Adam Lang clocked in at 33:10 and freshman Ryan Sullivan finished in 34:08.
ATHLETES OF THE WEEK
Senior setter/right side Jenna Blujus (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) recorded 58 assists, 47 digs and 27 kills to guide the Bears to three SUNYAC victories over Oneonta, Cortland and Oswego State on Friday and Saturday in Cortland.
The win against Cortland marked only the third time since 1984 that the Bears have defeated the Red Dragons in volleyball.
Potsdam is in first place in the SUNYAC standings at 3-0.
For that, Blujus is the Bears female athlete of the week.
Sophomore golfer John Hickey (Au Sable Forks, N.Y.) fired a 78 to force a two-hole playoff for individual medalist honors in the SUNY Canton Invitational Cup on Saturday.
John placed second overall to guide the Bears to a combined team score of 321, the teams best performance of the season and the Cup championship.
For that, Hickey is the Bears male athlete performer of the week.
The volleyball team, now the conference leaders in SUNYAC, will play three nonconference matches this week starting with a visit to SUNY Canton on Tuesday at 7 p.m. and will follow with matches on Saturday against Daniel Webster College at 12 p.m. and Newbury College at 2 p.m. in Brookline, Mass.
The golf team will head to Macdeon to take part in the ECAC qualifier on Saturday and Sunday. Tee-off is 10 a.m. on both days.
The womens soccer team will be back in action on Friday, when they travel to Cortland to take on the Red Dragons at 3 p.m.
The mens soccer team returns home Friday, when they host Cortland at 4 p.m. Both the mens and womens cross country teams will be off this week and will return to competition on October 12 at the SLU Hoffman Invitational in Canton startingat 11 a.m.