Skidmore volleyball upsets Clarkson, wins Liberty League Championship

Posted by Skidmore Athletics

POTSDAM — Skidmore won the Liberty League Championship this weekend, beating St. Lawrence on Friday, Nov. 4, and top-seeded Clarkson on Saturday, Nov. 5. It was the program's fourth league championship and first since 2000.

On Friday, in the Liberty League Semifinals, Kelley Vershbow '12 struck for 20 kills and had just three errors in 44 swings to lead a Skidmore College attack that hit .417 overall as the second-seeded Thoroughbreds beat third-seed St. Lawrence in three straight sets, 25-14, 25-22, 25-21.

Skidmore's victory pushed the Thoroughbreds to 26-8 overall, while St. Lawrence dropped to 19-17 this year.

The Thoroughbreds came out strong, hitting .412 in the first set with 17 kills and not allowing the Saints to get much going offensively. In the final two sets, St. Lawrence took early leads and forced Skidmore to take timeouts to pull things together. Each time the Thoroughbreds changed pace to regain the lead, winning each by small margins.

Vershbow had 20 kills and seven digs, while Corrine Palmer '14 added 11 kills and four blocks for the Thoroughbreds. Elise Finnerty '14 had 10 kills and just one error in 15 swings (.600 hitting percentage) to help a Skidmore offense that had 50 kills overall and just seven errors. Mallory Mendelsohn '13 led the offense with 38 assists and also added in 10 digs. Sam Friedman '13 produced a team-best 11 digs and also had three aces.

For St. Lawrence, Nyasha Miller hit .382 for the match with 15 kills and just two errors in 34 swings, and Liz Grogan was nearly as good with 10 kills and three errors in 20 attempts. Anna Kassab had 35 assists for the Saints and Katie Prue led the team with nine digs.

The Skidmore College volleyball team beat top-seed Clarkson 3-2 (25-16, 25-23, 20-25, 20-25, 15-8) to win the Liberty League championship, Saturday.

 

The Thoroughbreds finish the regular season with a 27-8 record, winning their last 12 matches, including two over Clarkson (28-8), the region's top-ranked team.

 

Both teams will now await the NCAA Tournament committee to find out if they will be selected to participate in this year's championship tournament. The Liberty League does not have an automatic bid for its conference tournament until 2013.

Saturday's championship match was an odd one at times, as Clarkson came out with a solid advantage in the first set, 16-12. However, Elise Finnerty '14 was able to get a kill for Skidmore to pull the Thoroughbreds back within three, and then Mallory Mendelsohn '13 amazingly served out the set for a 25-16 victory as the Knights searched for answers at the break.

In the second set, Clarkson had a small advantage midway through the game, but Skidmore once again rallied to take a 25-23 victory off a block from Corrine Palmer '14 and Mendelsohn. However, Clarkson had found its rhythm on offense and started to take control, winning a pair of sets back-to-back by the score of 25-20, highlighted by a .432 hitting percentage in the fourth set (19-3-37). That momentum could not be carried into the fifth and deciding set, though, as Clarkson hit -.158 with eight errors.

For Skidmore, Kelley Vershbow '12 was selected as the tournament's MVP with 19 kills (and 39 total in the two-day event). Also making the All-Tournament team were Corrine Palmer '14, who had 15 kills against only a single error in 29 attempts to go along with five total blocks, and Mendelsohn, who produced 45 assists and four aces on Saturday. Finnerty also added 14 kills and four blocks for the Thoroughbreds. Sam Friedman '13 topped Skidmore with 16 digs.

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