SUNY Plattsburgh’s Women’s Volleyball team put a solid week together, winning two out of three games. The team’s record moves to 6-4, including their first conference play win they picked up Wednesday at home versus Potsdam. This week’s results were a much needed bump for the team after going 1-3 in the North Country Classic volleyball tournament.
This past week’s games started on Wednesday, at Memorial hall in Plattsburgh, versus the Potsdam Bears. It was the team’s second home win of the season, and it was decided by a final score of three sets to one. This was the first win against Potsdam since 2016, and first win over the bears at Memorial since 2004. The match started with Plattsburgh State taking the first two sets, 25-11 and 25-17, before Potsdam was able to take the third, 25-20.
“We were just at a point where, after the first two sets, we kind of got sloppy and wanted to show off, and that’s when we got in our heads and then when we lost a point,” senior middle hitter Alicia Fisher said, “It really brings our energy down.”
But the Lady Cardinals were able to ring their energy back up and it certainly helped being at home. The game was surrounded by a raucous crowd that started filing in at 5 and stayed for almost the entirety of the 4 sets. They kept the energy and noise up for all of it.
“It was 90 degrees in that gym but we didn’t care. It felt like the whole fanbase knew they needed our support,” senior and attending fan Brendan Whalen said.
“It makes us feel so much better because other teams came on to support us, our friends and family came out, but knowing that other people on campus actually came out to see us feels so much better,” Fisher said.
That added support proved crucial, in the 4th set Plattsburgh traded points with the Bears for a while, but eventually pulled away to win the set 25-18, and took the match 3-1. Thanks to huge contributions from several players, including Sophomore outside hitter and defensive specialist Payton Zophy who led the team in digs with 15.
“It was just kind of crazy. It was nice having fans too and I think everyone was just really getting into it. I know I was getting into it,” Zophy said.
It was a quick turnaround for the Lady Cardinals after that, having to travel to Union College in Schenectady, to play in the Russell Sage/ Union Crosstown Classic tournament. The ladies got up to be on the bus down there at 8 a.m. to play 2 games last Saturday, the first versus Hartwick College at Noon, then second at 2 p.m. versus Russell Sage College. Once we got to the gym and started playing the first team,it was kind of like a little shock at first because I think they were better than we thought they were going to be. We did end up losing the first game,” Zophy said about the first game versus Hartwick. “But we did learn something from that and it allowed us to push and try harder in our second game to make sure that we came out with one win on that weekend.” Zophy said.
The Lady Cardinals did drop the first game of the two, losing in four sets by a tally of 3-1.
“I personally think we probably could have beat them or at least taken them to five sets. But we just got off to a slow start,” Sophomore Defensive Specialist Shannon Fitzpatrick said, “They were just really tall and had a really good defense.”
But their day wasn’t done, immediately having to turn around and battle Russell Sage college. However, this match finished much better than the last, as the Lady Cardinals were able to defeat the Gators in four sets by a tally of 3-1.
“I think as a team we really got together and talked about what we need to work on, talked to coach [Healis] and all regrouped,” Zophy said, “we had a new mindset going into the game [vs. Russell Sage] of really trying to push every point and come out, winning.”
That change in mindset seemed to work as the Cardinals led in almost every major stat, tied for blocks with 8 and had a disadvantage in blocks 82-67.
“The game was really close the whole time, but that’s good. That shows that we were really trying to compete against them,” Fitzpatrick said. “So I think it was a better game overall because we’re all just playing way better and I think we woke up a little bit.”