ONEONTA - Coming off a 28-7 season, the Clarkson University Volleyball team was simply hoping to get off to a strong start in 2010 and to not take anything for granted.
The Golden Knights proved that they will certainly not be complacent in defending their Liberty League title, handily defeating Kean College and Hartwick College each in three sets.
The Golden Knights will face the City College of New York and RIT on Sunday afternoon.
In the opening match, the Green and Gold pushed through to a straight-set victory over Kean College, winning 25-10, 25-21, 25-14. Junior Sara Artus (St. Regis Falls, NY) produced 13 kills to lead the Knights, while freshman Lani Durio (Austin, TX) came through with 23 assists. Senior libero Alison Schroeder added 10 digs and 3 aces, and freshman Holly McDaniel (Hacienda Heights, CA) had 5 kills and 3 aces.
In the second match against Hartwick College, the Knights were even more dominant, winning in three sets 25-9, 25-14, 25-6. Artus hit nearly .500 in the match, pounding 16 kills against just 4 errors in 25 swings. Durio assisted on 29 kills, and Schroeder had a team-high 15 digs. The team's defense was impressive overall with 48 digs in the short match, including 11 more digs from McDaniel.
"We are very proud of how the team came out today," head coach Johan Dulfer remarked. "We spent the majority of the day in system and that allowed us to have options. I thought we were really hungry and eager after a long preseason, and we really enjoyed being out there today. Now our focus is on two more matches tomorrow and on continuing to define our identity."