Lakers volleyball hosts tournament

Members of the Oswego State volleyball team come together in celebration after a successful point in the Oswego State Tournament last weekend.  (David Armelino | The Oswegonian)
Members of the Oswego State volleyball team come together in celebration after a successful point in the Oswego State Tournament last weekend. (David Armelino | The Oswegonian)

Despite dropping its first match in straight sets, Oswego State won two of the next three matches to go .500 in the Oswego State Tournament, the first full-scale competition of the 2013 season held at Max Ziel Gymnasium in Laker Hall.

In the first match on Friday, Oswego State fell to visiting SUNYIT despite three close sets.

The Lakers dropped the first two games by three points each before losing an intense final set, 30-28.

Neither team could break off a large run in any of the sets, as they constantly exchanged points. In the end, Oswego State’s effort fell just short.

The Lakers used an incredible comeback to defeat Marywood University in their second game on Friday night after falling behind, two sets to none.

Oswego State won the final three sets of the match and emerged victorious, 3-2. Both squads went back and forth in the first set, needing extra points to decide the winner.

After several deuces, the Lakers lost 29-27. Marywood carried its momentum into the second set and earned a 25-13 win to take a 2-0 lead.

Oswego State did not waver and continued to put pressure on Marywood in the third game, outscoring the opposition 7-2 to end the set en route to a 25-22 win.

The Lakers continued their comeback as they cruised in the fourth set to a 25-15 victory. In the fifth and deciding set, Oswego State jumped out to an early lead and held on for the 15-9 triumph to complete the incredible comeback.

“Coming back from 0-2 down against Marywood was a real confidence builder going forward,” head coach J.J. O’Connell said of his team’s comeback win.

Senior Sabrina Sutton took charge in the final match of the night, killing seven attempts. Freshman Lauren Edwards finished with a team-high 18 assists, while sophomore Rachel Ruggaber (15) and senior Meaghan Puff (10) each tallied double-digit digs.

Despite the victory against Marywood, Oswego State dropped its following match against St. Lawrence in a 3-2 loss on Saturday. After taking what was thought to be a commanding 2-0 lead, the Lakers dropped the next three sets.

The final game of the match proved to be most intense. The score was tied 15-15 in the fifth and final set before St. Lawrence took two straight points to win the match.

Ruggaber dug 21 St. Lawrence attempts, while junior Stephanie Bailey led the team with 13 kills. Edwards finished with a game-high 32 assists.

In the final match of the tournament, the Lakers swept Wells College in straight sets, 25-18, 25-16 and 25-20.

Freshman Megan Russell killed a game-high 11 attempts, but had the full support of her teammates en route to the win. Freshman Kim Cassa and sophomores Kelsey Dillion and Emily Wasler all had four kills, while Sutton and freshman Sarah Meredith added three kills each.

Meredith led the team with 15 digs in the contest while Edwards had the team-high 17 assists for the Lakers.

The Lakers ended their home tournament on a strong note with the win against Wells.

“I felt like our team played some good defense and put ourselves in the position to be in every match this past weekend,” O’Connell said. “We just need some continued improvement on finishing off matches with aggressive play.”

The team defeated Utica College in straight sets on Wednesday and is preparing to host the Oswego State Fall Classic this weekend.

The Lakers will play four games spanning between Friday and Saturday, with the first game slated to begin at 5 p.m. on Friday.