Thursday, December 2, 2021

Plattsburgh Volleyball snaps losing streak

Drew Wemple

Lady Cardinal’s volleyball team swept Northern Vermont University-Johnson at home this Wednesday. With that win, the team snapped its seven game long losing streak. In dominant fashion, winning 3-0, Plattsburgh State improved it’s record to 8-14. 

The team was fueled by senior Alicia Fisher who led the team with seven kills, and sophomore Payton Zophy anchored the defense with 15 digs. Senior Maddy Zophy, who started the game as libero, was also a big part of the return game with nine digs of her own. Sophomore Emma Rivers set up the team high with  14 assists. 

It was a slow start for the Cardinals with communication errors allowing for NVUJ to jump out to a 7-3 lead in the first set. However, the team quickly rallied and retook the lead at 17-16, from which point they never trailed again in the set; winning 25-20. 

“We have a tendency to start slow. We just need to get that out of our system,” said senior Outside Hitter Meghan O’Brien. “Then we got a really good kill that just rallied all our energy.”

After that set, similar problems arose for the Cardinals in the second, falling behind 17-11. However, once again the team showed their fight and came back point by point until they tied the score 22-22. 

“We took a minute and I just told them to breathe for a second, because we were just doing a lot of things unnecessarily,” said Head Coach Kelsea Healis. “We just had to kind of relax and play the game and then talk about what spots were actually open on the floor.”

They were able to find enough of those open spots, as the Lady Cardinals once again came back and won the set 27-25. After losing their last seven matches and being up two sets to none Wednesday, there was a question of how the team would come out and handle that big lead being so close to snapping their winless drought.

“We were just saying, ‘let’s get out in three’ [sets],” O’Brien said. “We can’t let up.”

 The third set had a similar theme as the first two, as Plattsburgh fell behind early 11-6. But from that point on, it was all Cardinals, going on an 8-1 run to take back the lead at 14-12. They never lost that lead once they got it, tightening up on the NVUJ Badgers, and would go on to win the set 25-20; and the match 3-0. With that the losing streak was over, and the Lady Cardinals got back on the winning track.  

“It felt very good being able to do it in three, especially since they took us to five last time,” Healis said. “We recognized that we can kind of rely on our own motivation and our own guys… it was really good just to see that happen and get it done.”

Moving forward, the Lady Cardinals will take on SUNY Cortland Friday, Oct. 22, in Memorial Hall looking to beat the Red Dragons for the first time since 2013. Following that the team will have just two games remaining, home versus Oswego and at Castleton, before the SUNYAC Conference tournament. 

“We just have to win as much as we can for the rest of this season,” O’Brien said. “We have to just play our own game and make other teams see how good we are.”

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