St. John Fisher spoils volleyball home opener

Steph-Schrieber-spikes-ball

"The Lakers found themselves on the wrong side of the scoreboard Wednesday evening after their recent bout with St. John Fisher, losing 3-1.

"St. John Fisher won the match three games to one, owing some of their success to Oswego State’s slow start and lack of height. However, it seemed like most of Fisher’s success could be found just by watching their energy and commitment in pre game drills.

"The Cardinals demeanor during the warm ups was attentive, swift, and downright intimidating. Their athleticism and size was a combination Oswego State didn’t have many answers for during the first few games.

"In contrast to Fisher’s fast start, the Laker did not have much confidence to start the match on their home court. The Lakers allowed themselves struggling against the combination of Amy Street and Sydney Kandefer of St. John Fisher.

"Street, who leads her team in assists (155), attack percentage (41 percent), serving percentage (38 percent) and aces (8), is a force on the court. Her flawless passes set up teammates Kandefer and Becca Smith, two of the tallest players on the court.

"Fisher would win the first game easily with a final score of 25 to 9. The balance and seasoned coolness of the Fisher team made it easy to capitalize on the inexperienced play of Oswego State early in the game. That was the common theme in the second set as well, where Fisher won 25 to 17.

"However, Oswego State was beginning to play with more spunk by the end of the second set and a game plan was coming into focus. Oswego State’s best player, Jess Isgro, had a confident shot Wednesday night and her teammates were eagerly attempting to reward her. Isgro, who leads the Lakers in attacks per set (2.71) and is second on the team in both aces (13) and serving percentage (46 percent), is a versatile player with great talent.

"This became a noticeable flaw in Oswego State’s game plan because Fisher dissected their plain strategy and, subsequently, avoided Jess Isgro at all costs. Fisher made it very difficult to get the ball in positions for Isgro, and when Oswego State had to force the ball to her side, it created imbalance on the offensive end.

"An additional battle for Oswego State was how to deal with Kandefer on the net. The Lakers did not have the height to block her spike attempts at the net, and because of Street’s skill as a Setter, Kandefer was able to live off her spike game.

"In the third set, Oswego State succeeded in their efforts to keep the ball away from Street and Kendefer’s spike. An additional key the third set was the Lakers’ best server, Kelsey Ihle.

"Ihle, whose numbers on the season mark her as the team’s third best server in regard to serving percentage and aces, was the team’s most efficient server on Wednesday night.

"Ihle shot four successful serves during the third set and Isgro spiked several points to earn an impressive 25-15 victory. St. John Fisher made many of unforced errors and played much sloppier then they did previously in the match.

"This success would carry over into the fourth set, as great play by Liz Crouch and Katie van Kessel stood out and Oswego State took Fisher deep into the set. The game was knotted at 10 when Fisher unleashed their full offensive arsenal on Oswego State at the net. Street made several "trick passes" to Kendefer and Smith and made it impossible for Oswego State’s shorter frontline to defend their court. The final score in the fourth set was 25 to 22, ending the match.

"St. John Fisher improves to 4-3 with the victory while the Lakers drop to 2-7 on the season. The Lakers’ next match is on the road against Vassar College on Friday, September 17th.