SUNY-C
Cooper

POTSDAM, N.Y. – Senior middle hitters Kaitlyn Cooper and Sheena Asibey recorded 10 kills each as 18th-ranked Cortland defeated Southern Vermont 3-0 in the opening round of the NCAA tournament at Clarkson. The Red Dragons won by set scores of 25-19, 25-12 and 25-23.

Cortland, the top seed in the eight-team regional, will face either fourth-seeded Clarkson or fifth-seeded Nazareth College in the second round on Saturday. The Red Dragons won their 20th consecutive match and improved to 40-1 for its ninth 40-win season and first since 2003. Southern Vermont, the eighth seed, had a 21-match winning streak snapped with the loss and finishes the season 31-3.

Cooper finished with 10 kills and two errors in 18 attempts for a .444 attack percentage and led the team with four blocks. Asibey hit a team-high .471 (10 kills, two errors in 17 attempts) and added three blocks.

Junior Kristen Guercio totaled 33 assists and nine digs and senior Ashley Coyle had nine kills and team highs of three aces and 16 digs. Senior Jaclyn Lawrence chipped in with 10 digs and two aces and junior Katie Wick finished with two aces and six digs.

Jessica Alvarez led Southern Vermont with 14 kills and was second on the team with 10 digs. Danielle Healis had seven kills and Hershey Canta dished out 26 assists.

Cortland used a 4-0 run, featuring two Coyle aces, to break a 7-7 tie in the first set. The Mountaineers were still within three at 21-18, but Wick registered a kill and an ace to give the Red Dragons a five-point lead. Cortland won the set 25-19 to end Southern Vermont's streak of 51 consecutive sets won.

The teams were tied 5-5 in the second set before Cortland mounted a 13-1 run to go up 18-6. Sophomore Aubrey Barrett had two kills and a block during that decisive stretch. Southern Vermont led 13-7 in the third set, but Cortland tallied six consecutive points to force a 13-13 tie. The Mountaineers also led 22-19 later in the set, but the Red Dragons responded with a 5-0 run fueled by two Asibey kills, a Barrett kill and a Coyle ace. Healis kept Southern Vermont within a point with a kill, but a block by Asibey and junior Jenna Davies ended the set and the match.