The Oswego State women’s volleyball team completed its regular season with two home losses Saturday at Max Ziel Gymnasium. The Lakers fell to St. John Fisher College, 3-1, in their opener, which was followed by a 3-0 sweep at the hands of SUNY Potsdam.
“We started off pretty good against St. John Fisher and then we were playing a little short-handed and we had some injuries that affected the team,” head coach J.J. O’Connell said. “We kind of played really sluggish against Potsdam last Saturday.”
The Lakers (12-18, 2-4 SUNYAC) traded the first two sets with St. John Fisher (8-20), with the Cardinals taking the first, 25-22, and Oswego State winning the
following one by the same score.
Things started to go downhill for the Lakers at the start of the third set, as St. John Fisher went on a 4-0 run to open things up. Cardinal freshman Megan Miller recorded two kills during the scoring streak.
Oswego State was able to come back and tie things up at 15, but St. John Fisher began pulling away.
With the score 18-16 in favor of the Cardinals, St. John Fisher went on a 5-0 run to pull ahead and essentially lock up the set. Miller added another kill and a service ace during the run.
The Lakers responded with a streak of four consecutive points of their own to make it 23-20, but they were not able to complete the comeback and lost the set 25-21.
Few things went right in the final set for Oswego State, as St. John Fisher ran away with it and won, 25-17, to take the match.
Junior captain Meaghan Puff led the Lakers with 10 kills in the match. Fellow junior Sabrina Sutton posted nine kills, the second highest on the team. She also led Oswego State with 18 digs.
O’Connell said he was pleased with Sutton’s performance.
“Sabrina Sutton had a really nice day,” O’Connell said. “She was playing great against Fisher. I thought that was a positive for sure.”
Miller recorded a game-high 12 kills, alongside junior teammate Rachel Kline, who posted the same amount.
Things got worse for the Lakers in the second game of their double header, as Potsdam (22-15, 3-5 SUNYAC) defeated Oswego State soundly in each set.
The Bears went on two separate runs of four consecutive points and added another streak of three, en route to a 25-17 opening-set victory.
With the score 11-9 in favor of Potsdam in the second set, the Bears went on a 7-0 run that buried Oswego State. The Lakers did themselves no favors during the streak, committing four errors that contributed to the Bears’ scoring.
Oswego State would not get within eight points the remainder of the set, as Potsdam went on a streak of three consecutive points to close out the set, 25-14.
The third and final set seemed to be over soon after it began. The teams traded points to begin the set, but then Potsdam took off on a 10-0 run to hold a commanding 11-1 lead.
Oswego State did themselves in with errors once again, committing four more during the Bears’ streak and extending their advantage.
The Lakers were able to claw back and cut the lead to 12-6, but the Bears went on another scoring run, recording five unanswered points and moving the score to 17-6.
Once again, the Lakers dug themselves a hole with errors. The final four points of the streak were off of Oswego State errors.
Potsdam closed out the set with a 5-0 run for a final score of 25-11.
Oswego State struggled statistically, with only one player recording even five kills. Junior Morgan Lavner led the Lakers in the category with six.
Potsdam senior Kayla Howard recorded a game-high 10 kills.
Despite the losses, the Lakers will still advance to the SUNYAC playoffs for their first postseason game since 1996. O’Connell said the pair of losses to close out the season will not affect the team’s mindset moving forward.
“I think these two games were a build-up,” O’Connell said. “Our mindset is to let it rip, man. We’ve got nothing to lose and we’re not the team that’s favored to win, so we can go out and play freely.”
Oswego State will face off against SUNY New Paltz in Buffalo in the first round Friday at 3 p.m.
The Lakers faced off against the Hawks earlier in the season in the New Paltz Tournament on Sept. 15.
New Paltz swept the visiting Lakers, 3-0, taking the sets by a score of 25-11, 25-15, 25-22.