COBLESKILL, N.Y. – The Screaming Eagles volleyball team earned a pair of crucial conference wins in the first North Eastern Athletic Conference crossover action this weekend at SUNY Cobleskill.
Saint Elizabeth (10-3, 2-1 NEAC) staged a big rally against Cazenovia in its first match on Saturday, 3-2, with set scores of 21-25, 20-25,25-12, 27-25, 16-14. In the afternoon match, the Screaming Eagles fell to Keuka, 3-0, with set scores of 25-18, 25-21, 25-18.
On Sunday, Saint Elizabeth completed the crossover by rolling past hometown SUNY Cobleskill, 3-0, with scores of 25-19, 28-26, 25-16.
CSE started off strong against Cazenovia on Saturday, taking an early 3-1 lead and later extended it to 11-7. But the Wildcats went on a 7-0 run that pushed Cazenovia out front 14-12. After an Amy Cooper kill gave the ball back to CSE, Cazenovia continued to pour on the pressure by going on a 6-4 run that pushed the Wildcats to a 20-16 lead. Cazenovia closed the set out 25-21 after a CSE service error at 24-21.
The Wildcats opened a two-point lead midway through the second set (10-12) but the Screaming Eagles continued to fight back into the match and tied it at 16-16 after a Wildcat service error. CSE found itself in a 23-19 hole they could not recover from and fell 25-20.
Down two sets, Katie Cooper led a passionate CSE attack from the front row as she pounded out five kills en route to a set victory. In the fourth set, Cazenovia held 5-1, 8-4 and 13-9 leads as the Eagles could not sustain any momentum. After five Cazenovia errors, Cazenovia saw themselves one point away from a match victory at 24-21 before a passing error gave the Eagles life at 22-24. Amy Cooper hit for an ace and Cazenovia had another hitting error to push the score to 24 all. After another service ace by Amy Cooper, Cazenovia finally put down a kill to knot the score at 25-25. Cazenovia then missed a serve and followed up with a hitting error to give Saint Elizabeth the unlikely 27-25 set win.
In the fifth set, the Screaming Eagles rolled out to an 8-4 advantage behind a kill from Kareemah Muhammad and an ace by Jenae Goodson. Cazenovia fought back to tie the penultimate set at 12-12 but a pair of kills from Subhana Wrights put the match away with a 16-14 set win for CSE.
In the afternoon, Keuka ended Saint Elizabeth’s six-match win streak with a 3-0 victory. Rachel Hauser led the CSE defense with 22 digs against the Storm. The second set proved to be CSE’s best of the match. The Screaming Eagles kept fighting back to within one various times (10-11, 12-13, 14-15, 17-18) thanks to superior passing by Hausler, Katie Cooper and Misato Oya. But in a game of momentum swings, CSE seemed to be at the wrong side of them late in the match. Keuka went on a 6-1 run that pushed the Eagles to the brink at 18-24. Saint Elizabeth tried to stay in the set behind an Amy Cooper ace, and kills from Katie Cooper and Kiara Francisco kills but after a successful right-side attack by the Storm, the Eagles fell 25-21.
Saint Elizabeth would not be kept down for long, returning to the SUNY Cobleskill court on Sunday to face the Tigers. Katie Cooper led the way in the opening set with four kills and four aces as CSE cruised to a 25-19 victory in the opening set.
A tight battle ensued in the second set and with the Tigers leading 18-16, a kill by Amy Cooper and an ace by Hausler had the Screaming Eagles tie the score at 18-18. With the score tied at 19, Wrights and Muhammad pounded down a kill and Katie Cooper added a pair of aces to push the lead to 23-19. Cobleskill tied up the score at 24 yet a Wrights’ kill gave the match point back to CSE but the Tigers fought back to tie it at 25. Muhammad then got into the mix, nailing down a crucial kill to give the ball back to CSE at 26-25. But the Eagles could not convert as another service error gave the Tigers a 26-26 tie. A Tiger error later gave the ball back to Amy Cooper who scored an ace to close out the set, 28-26.
For the match, Katie Cooper led the team with 10 kills, 12 digs and six aces. Muhammad and Wrights both chipped in nine kills each. Amy Cooper led a balanced offense with 26 assists and added four aces and six digs. Rachel Hausler hammered home five aces and added eight digs.
Saint Elizabeth returns home on Wednesday night for a NEAC match with Penn State-Abington. First serve at St. Joseph’s Hall is scheduled for 7 p.m.