Lakers split opening evening at home tournament

The Oswego State volleyball team split its matches in the Oswego State Tournament Friday night against Wells College and St. Lawrence University, defeating the Express, 3-0, before falling in the night cap to the Saints, 3-1, in Max Ziel Gymnasium at Laker Hall.

Against the Saints, the Lakers played a close match throughout, but during the fourth set, in what turned out to be the final one, fatigue seemed to have taken its toll on the team, as they dropped it, 25-13. It was definitely a hard pill to swallow for the Lakers as they played even volleyball with the Saints all night.

After dropping two extremely close sets, the Lakers got one back in the third. Oswego State got off to a fast start in the third before St. Lawrence made its move. However, the Lakers were able to hold on and extend the match with the set victory, 25-23. The set was just another example of the match’s back and forth feel throughout the night.

The Lakers dropped a crucial second set, which was tightly contested and was up in the air until the end. The set was tied on two different occassion at 11-11 and 18-18. Yet, in the end, the Saints, as they had done in the first set, grinded out a narrow two-point victory, 26-24.

The first set helped set the tone for the match, which would be a fiercely competitive affair. The set was evenly matched throughout, as the teams went back and forth trying to gain the upperhand. It was so close that the set needed to be extended to a tiebreak. Both teams were hungry to win it at all cost, but, when all was said and done, the Saints prevailed, 27-25.

Junior outsider hitter Kelsey Dilson and sophomore middle blocker Megan Russell each had eight kills, tied for the team-high, while sophomore setters Lauren Edwards and Lindsay Champitto led the side in assists with 17 and 15, respectively. Junior libero Rachel Ruggaber paced the team with 11 digs, as well.

The Lakers started the evening off with a sweep of Wells College.

The final set against the Express was as comfortable as each of the first two sets, as they clinched the victory, 25-16. Oswego State, similar to in the first two sets, had opportunities to close out the set sooner. Instead of putting away the set quickly, the Lakers seemed to be okay with just winning comfortably, as they let the Express hang around throughout the match.

The second set was where Oswego State took full control of the match, pretty much cruising all the way through without ever having to feel threatened. The Lakers took plenty of easy points as the Express’ communication was really lacking, leading to multiple errors, which only made the match easier for the Lakers. The home side took the set, 25-18.

Coming off a long, grueling defeat on Wednesday night, Oswego State did not looking rusty at all at the start. Points were easy to come by in the opening set for the Lakers, as they were able to grab points without expending much effort. The Lakers took the first set, 25-18. Wells College has now been swept by the Lakers in each of their two meetings over the past two seasons.

Senior middle blocker Stephanie Bailey led the way with 11 kills in the match. Edwards led the team in assists with 17 and junior setter Olivia Zimmerman contributed 16 of her own. Ruggaber continued to be a defensive presence, leading the team with 15 digs.

Oswego State returns to the courts Saturday morning for its final two matches of the Oswego State Tournament against Hamilton College and SUNY Potsdam at 10 a.m. and noon, respectively.