Laker Volleyball Splits First Two Matches at New Paltz Invitational

NEW PALTZ, N.Y. – The Oswego State volleyball team (4-5) split matches on the first day of the New Paltz Invitational by sweeping Old Westbury, 3-0 (25-20, 25-22, 26-24), before losing to Mount St. Mary, 3-0 (25-23, 25-20, 25-23) on Friday.

In the first set against Old Westbury, the Panthers held a 19-16 lead before the Lakers scored eight unanswered points behind the serving of Storey Nowaczyk (Fr., Amherst, N.Y.). Oswego State completed the comeback two points later when Sabrina Sutton (Jr., Fulton, N.Y.) recorded one of her five kills.

The Lakers distanced themselves from Old Westbury early in the second set with a 6-1 run, as four different players registered kills to go ahead 13-6. The Panthers gradually chipped into the lead, but were unable to complete the comeback as Morgan Grimes (Sr., Cambridge, N.Y.) recorded a pair of kills.

The Panthers appeared to be on their way to sending the match to a fourth set, as they built a 23-19 lead. However, Oswego State mounted a late charge starting with kills by Sutton and Grimes and a pair of aces from Emily Walser (Fr., Baldwinsville, N.Y.) to give the Lakers match point. Old Westbury won the next point, but another Grimes kill and a Panther hitting error sealed the victory.

Grimes and Chelsea Crump (Sr., Sandy Creek, N.Y.) led the team with six kills each, while Crump hit at a blistering .545 clip. Stephany Olsheski (Sr., Brockport, N.Y.) handed out 22 assists to go along with six digs. Walser ended the match with a well-round statistic line of nine digs, five service aces, and four kills.

With the score even at 21-21 in the first set, Stephanie Bailey (So., Scotia, N.Y.) recorded a solo block and a kill to bring Oswego State within two points of the first set.  However, Mount St. Mary won the next four points to take the first set.

The Lakers regrouped by taking a 5-0 lead in the second set, but Mount St. Mary went on a 16-3 run to take control of the frame, 16-8. Oswego State whittled away at its deficit until it trailed by two points following a pair of Meaghan Puff (Jr., Newfane, N.Y.) kills and a Walser service ace. It would not be able to complete the comeback, as Mount St. Mary scored six of the final eight points in the set.

The third set was a seesaw battle up until the very end, as the score was tied at 23. Mount St. Mary closed out the match on a Laker hitting error and a kill.

Crump paced Oswego State with ten kills and three blocks, while Ihle and Sutton registered 11 and 10 digs, respectively. Kara Michelsen (So., Lake View, N.Y.) finished with 27 assists.

The Lakers will face Alfred and host New Paltz on Saturday afternoon.