The Oswego State women’s volleyball team came out of its two-day tournament with one win in four matches and a lot of missed opportunities.
“We played really tough and just had a few rough breaks when we needed things to go our way” freshman Danielle Groat said.
The setback puts the Lakers at 6-16 for the season.
The theme of day one seemed to be starting out slow, as the Lakers could not find a way to take control early in games, particularly against Morrisville. Although it did make for some exciting comebacks during their five set thriller against the Mustangs.
“We could work on getting into a rhythm more quickly,” sophomore team captain Meaghan Puff. “We’re terrific at comebacks, which shows that we really are terrific together, but we just need to start out strong.”
In the first set against the Mustangs, the Lakers went down early but came back to hold a lead for most of the match. The set had five lead changes and eight tie scores, but despite the strong play, the Lakers were down 24-21 with their backs against the wall. Despite the murky outlook, the Lakers staged a comeback, scoring five straight points to win the set, with the game-winning kill coming from Groat.
The second set was in favor of Morrisville, as the Lakers went down early and were playing with a huge deficit for most of the match. They did their best to play through it but were often down by as much as seven points. Oswego State came back however, scoring six straight points to tie things up at 24, capitalized by a big stuff and kill by freshman Stephanie Bailey. The Lakers were unable to complete the comeback, as they dropped the last two points to lose 26-24 in a valiant effort.
The Lakers played an incredibly sloppy third set that was laden with service and attack errors. They went down 10-4 early and were never able to find a groove. The Mustangs put it away on a kill by Megan Moses to win the set 25-14.
Oswego went down early again in the fourth set, but picked up the pace toward the middle of the match on consecutive aces by Groat to take a 10-7 lead. They led for the rest of the match and finished off the Mustangs on a kill by junior Kim Grice, forcing the decisive fifth set.
The Lakers fought hard to come back from an early 5-1 deficit and stayed competitive throughout the set. Oswego State took its first lead of the match behind the strong play of Bailey and Puff, scoring three of the teams four points in a 4-1 run that gave the Lakers a 12-11 lead. From then on, the two teams fought back and forth trying to gain control, with neither team gaining a lead of more than one point.
With the game tied at 14-14, the Lakers made two costly attack errors that gave Morrisville the win. Tiffany Jones-Maxwel paced the Mustangs with an impressive 25 kills, while Meghan Robinson posted a team-high 34 assists.
For the Lakers, Puff, Groat, and Bailey all had double-digit kills. Freshman Kara Michelsen had a match-high 37 assists.
The second match against D’Youville wasn’t quite as close as the one against Morrisville. The Lakers looked worn out and sloppy during the match, and errors constantly put them out of reach.
“Errors are errors. An error toward the end of a close game is the same as an error in the middle of a game.” Puff said.
They lost in three straight sets, even with a strong start. Despite jumping out to a quick 4-1 lead in the first set, Oswego State was unable to keep control against D’Youville’s consistent attack.
The Lakers had their closest game of the match during the third set, where they led by as many as seven points. Despite the big lead, D’Youville came back strong with great service play, coming up with four aces in that set alone. Throughout the course of the match, the Lakers only took the lead three times.
Luciana Payne led D’Youville with a match leading 10 kills, and was the only player on either side with double digit kills.
Bailey had nine kills for the Lakers, and Michelsen had a match high 24 assists. D’Youville as a team also had 10 total service aces, compared to the Lakers’ four.
On the second day of matches, the Lakers came up big against Utica College, notching their first win of the tournament in stunning fashion, 25-11, 19-25, 25-12, 25-13. Oswego State could not keep the momentum going, as it lost its second match of the day to Alfred University.
Bailey was the only player on either side to reach double digit kills against Utica, racking up 11. Utica’s Kellee Furno had eight kills of her own. Michelsen had a match high 26 assists.
The Lakers as a team had a great match serving, racking up 18 total aces. The team also looked very solid defensively, with four players notching double-digit digs, led by Puff and junior Kim Grice, with 11 apiece. Freshman Samantha Manicone and Michelsen added 11 each.
The Lakers did not carry that momentum into the second match against an upstart Alfred offense. Janelle Gallipeau had an impressive 37 assists for Alfred, easily a match-high. Paige Jensen and Chelsea Hall combined to score 31 kills for Alfred.
Michelsen had a team-high 22 assists for the Lakers, while Puff lead the team in kills with seven, followed by Bailey and Grice with six of their own.
Puff and the rest of the team are happy with the team’s progress and are looking forward to the rest of the season.
“We all played great together as a team this weekend,” Puff said. “We played a lot of teams really close, and I’m happy with the overall result of the tournament.”
“We are a really hard working team and I would expect the wins to continue in the future,” Groat said.