Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Women’s volleyball ends season with win

Garrett Collins

Plattsburgh State women’s volleyball capped off their season this past Wednesday in dominant fashion, sweeping Castleton University on the road, 3-0. With that win, the team finishes with one of their best records in the past several years, at 10-15.

The team was led by a strong advantage in blocks, 8-0 with Jenn Braun having the team-high of five, and Alicia Fisher and Ann Beauchamp each having four. While the defense stood tall, the offense also got to work, as they paced the Spartans in kills 41-27 with Payton Zophy leading the way with 10, and Meghan O’Brien and Alicia Fisher also adding eight of their own. 

“We’ve been working hard all season on just kind of keeping our consistency and maintaining our composure and making sure that we’re creating our own motivation versus feeding off the other team,” Head Coach Kelsea Healis said. “We did an excellent job of that tonight just executing our scouting report and getting done what we came here to do.”

The Lady Cardinals had encountered the problem of starting slow in first sets, and they made sure to give themselves one last uphill battle in the opener this game, going down 19-14 early. However, the team rallied quickly and went on a big run to comeback and win the set 25-23. 

“We kind of had a little bit of a lull in the middle of that first set, but we just took a time out and kind of readjusted. I think we were a little nervous and just eager to compete,” Healis said. “Once we kind of just took a moment, we got back out there and just executed.”

The second set was when the defense and blocking really made its presence known. Senior Maddy Zophy, coming off being awarded PrestoSports SUNYAC Women’s Volleyball Defensive Athlete of the Week,  had a team-high of 20 digs in the match and added several more in their big second set. They closed out the set in resounding fashion by forcing a couple attack errors from Castleton and getting some timely stuffs at the net from Fisher to win the set 25-21.

In the third set, Plattsburgh made sure to shut the door in smooth fashion. They coasted early to a 13-5 lead fueled by a couple service aces from Olga Muka, who had a team-high in the stat (4). They never let up and won the set 25-12. 

“The first time we played Castleton the score was 3-1 and this time we beat them 3-0 and that just goes to show how much we have improved since the start of the season,” Sophomore defensive specialist Shannon Fitzpatrick said. “I’m just really proud of what we all did today.”

It was a season of ups and downs for these Lady Cardinals, but to end it on a high note like this will definitely leave the team with something to build on going forward. To end any season with such a dominant win, makes all the in-season practices, workouts and training worth it.

“Being able to maintain the same stamina and intensity is something that we’ve been really trying to push all season,” Healis said. “To see it in these last few games, is great. I couldn’t have asked for a better ending.”

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