Oswego State volleyball team rallies past Utica

OSWEGO, N.Y. – After dropping a tight first set, the Oswego State volleyball team (10-10) responded by winning the next three sets to defeat Utica (5-13), 26-28, 25-11, 25-12, 25-18, Saturday afternoon.

Sabrina Sutton (Jr., Fulton, N.Y.) posted a double-double after pacing the Lakers with a game-high 16 kills and adding 13 digs. Other Lakers to reach double-digit kills were Meaghan Puff (Jr., Newfane, N.Y.), Chelsea Crump (Sr., Sandy Creek, N.Y.), and Stephanie Bailey (So., Scotia, N.Y.), who recorded 12, 11, and 10, respectively. Puff also contributed 15 digs. Kelsey Ihle (Sr., Clarence Center, N.Y.) led the defensive effort with 23 digs, while Kara Michelsen (So., Lake View, N.Y.) handed out 40 assists.

Utica’s Cassandra Manzer finished with seven kills, and Kellee Furno ended the game with 20 assists.

Oswego State held a commanding 15-10 lead in the first set, but Utica stormed back by putting together a 14-6 run to earn set point at 24-21. The Lakers fought off three set points to earn a set point of their own when Kara Michelsen’s kill found the floor. It was the Pioneers’ turn to stave off a couple of set points before winning the first set following an Oswego State hitting error.

The second set was even at six-all before Chelsea Crump stepped behind the service line. During the rotation, Meaghan Puff recorded three kills as part of 13 straight Laker points to put the home team ahead 19-6. The deficit was too much for Utica to overcome, as Oswego State leveled the match at one set apiece after a Pioneer hitting error.

The third set played out much like the second, as head coach J.J. O’Connell’s squad went on a 10-2 run with the score tied at nine. At one point during the stretch, Oswego State scored on four straight kills. The Lakers closed out the set by scoring the final four points with Sutton putting an exclamation point at the end of the frame with a kill.

Each squad went back-and-forth in the fourth set until a Utica hitting error gave Oswego State the lead for good at 18-17. The home team scored seven of the next eight points to seal the victory.

Oswego State hosts Hilbert on Wednesday at 7 p.m. for its Dig Pink game. A raffle will be held to go along with a freewill donation at the door to support breast cancer research.