Facing formidable opponents at the Potsdam tournament on Sept. 9 and Sept. 10, the volleyball team returned to UR with a 3-1 record. After defeating one of the two hosts of the tournament, the Yellowjackets failed to defeat Roberts Wesleyan College, a Division II team.
UR began the tournament against the St. Lawrence Saints. After splitting the first two games, the team cruised on to win the final two with a score of 30-20, 28-30, 30-15, 30-16.
Juniors Samantha Carr and Susan Johnson worked well together to grab 35 assists and 28 kills, respectively. Combined, they had 42 digs.
Senior Kate Czarniak played a well-rounded game, getting seven kills, four aces and seven blocks. Let’s not forget junior Andrea Wagonseller’s defensive plays, which included 21 digs. Sophomore Jessica Sorrentino added six kills and 12 digs.
The Yellowjackets repeated their successful play later that evening, defeating Russell Sage College in another 3-1 game. Carr deserved applause with her season-high 46 assists. Czarniak stayed strong near the net, killing 15 and blocking seven. Johnson replicated her 28 kills. Together Sorrentino, Wagonseller and sophomore Kaitlyn Gorczynski dug 51.
The next game, however, proved difficult. The Yellowjackets almost forced a fifth and deciding game against the Roberts Wesleyan Raiders, but lost by two in the fourth game. The match ended with a final score of 23-30, 32-30, 23-30, 30-32.
The match kept the Yellowjackets on high alert.
“[The Raiders] were the best put-together team we’ve played yet,” said Carr. “They passed extremely well and kept us on our toes.”
Carr had 36 assists and 14 digs. Johnson slowed down this game with only 12 kills. Sorrentino played well defensively by digging 20.
The most exciting game to watch was the one against the Middlebury Panthers. Everyone contributed, especially the bench, in a hard-fought match. The final score was 17-30, 30-24, 30-28, 30-28. After the first game, the Panthers saw an opening to attack. Fortunately, the Yellowjackets were back on their feet and focused in the game.
Johnson had 10 kills and 11 digs. Carr managed a whopping 40 assists and 11 digs. Freshman Jessica Rasmussen and junior Julie Mihalek came off the bench to help UR squeeze an eighth win. Rasmussen facilitated a lot of coordinated passes and dug 12. Mihalek contributed late in the match, digging eight in one game.
“[Jessica] really stepped up for us on Saturday when we were struggling with our passing,” said Wagonseller.
Wagonseller also performed extraordinarily, serving well consistently and getting crucial points at the right times.
“[Andrea] placed her kills well and came up big when we needed her to,” said Carr.
UR will travel to our hometown rival, Rochester Institute of Technology, in the next few games before facing St. John Fisher next week.
Lee can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.