Panthers Play Well, But Lose to Finger Lakes

Sierra Stauber skies for a kill.
Sierra Stauber skies for a kill.

The Tompkins Cortland volleyball team put together one of its best performances of the season Wednesday. Unfortunately, for the Panthers, it came against one of the best teams in the region, and it came up just short. Hosting Finger Lakes Community College, the Panthers were swept by score of 25-21, 25-23, and 25-13. Tompkins Cortland is 2-11 overall and -0-4 in the MSAC.

The Panthers held leads in all three sets. In the opener, Tompkins Cortland went on a 6-2 run to turn a 7-7 tie into a 13-9 lead. The Lakers responded, coming back to tie the score at 16-16 and then continuing their own run to lead 23-19. The Panthers got back to within two points at 23-21, but the Lakers won the final two points to take the first set 25-21.

Set two was also tight early, with the teams tied at 6-6. Like the first set, the Panthers used a little run to move in front 11-8, and held the same spread at 13-10. Finger Lakes again responded, winning 11 of the next 14 points to lead 21-16. Four straight points by the Panthers made it a one-point game at 21-20, and after the Lakers scored twice to lead 23-20, the Panthers rattled off three straight to tie the game at 23-23. The set ended with the Lakers taking the last two points to make the final 25-23.

After the two nail-biters, the third set was tight early, but ended with the Lakers comfortably in front. With Tompkins Cortland leading 7-6, Finger Lakes went on a 5-0 run to lead 11-7. The Panthers pulled within three at 12-9, but could get no closer as the Lakers added to the lead the rest of the way, capping the match with a 25-13 win in the last set.

Molly Baker (Newark Valley/Newark Valley H.S.) filled up the stat sheet with six kills, five blocks, five digs, and an ace. Megan Ball (Dryden/Dryden H.S.) had five kills and Sierra Stauber (McGraw/McGraw H.S.) pounded out four kills. Natasha Feocco (Dryden/Newfield H.S.) recorded 14 assists and a pair of digs and Madison Hartenstein (Newark Valley/Newark Valley H.S.) pulled out eight digs.

This Panthers are home again this weekend, hosting a Region III Pod that will include matches against Erie Community College, Jamestown Community College, and Niagara County Community College.