Devils add Skidmore, Union to list of vanquished foes

Special to the OBSERVER

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Fredonia State closed out its regular season with two more women’s volleyball wins Saturday.

The Blue Devils extended their winning streak to 15 straight matches with victories over host Skidmore, 3-0, and regionally ranked Union, 3-2. As a result, Fredonia State improved to 25-8 heading into the SUNYAC Tournament next Friday.

The 25 wins is the fourth most by a Geoff Braun-coached Blue Devil team. The 2008 team won 29 games, while the 2007 and 2011 teams each won 26. Braun has been the Fredonia State head coach for 15 seasons.

The Blue Devils won the Skidmore match by set scores of 25-22, 27-25, and 25-14. Senior outside hitter Katlin Orcutt recorded a .588 attack percentage with 11 kills, one error, in 17 attempts, while freshman outside hitter Sara Madison led the Blue Devils with 14 kills.

Freshman setter Kelly Edinger was credited with 42 assists, sophomore libero Lauren Hokaj had four service aces and a team-high 16 digs, and senior outside hitter/middle blocker Hannah Manning four block assists.

The latest NCAA New York Region ranks had Union at No. 8 and Fredonia State at No. 9, and that closeness was evident in the five-set marathon. The Blue Devils won the first set 25-18, dropped the next two 23-25 and 20-25, then won the fourth set 25-18 to set up a decisive fifth set up to 15. The set went overtime before the Blue Devils prevailed 21-19.

Eight Blue Devils made their marks statistically. Orcutt and sophomore opposite Paulina Rein led the attack with 16 kills each, sophomore middle blocker Jessica DiChristopher added 10 kills, and Manning collected nine kills.

Edinger was the leading playmaker with 60 assists, Hokaj had four service aces, sophomore outside hitter/libero Brittney Kelly led with 22 digs, while DiChristopher had a team-high four total blocks. Others with double-digit digs were Hokaj with 21, Rein with 20, senior libero Lauren O’Hara with 15, Edinger with 13, and Orcutt with 10.

Men’s Hockey

Devils rack up the shots

in 4-2 loss at Cortland

CORTLAND – Fredonia State fell to Cortland, 4-2, Saturday despite taking 58 shots in its SUNYAC men’s hockey game.

“Its unfortunate. We had an opportunity to sweep the opening weekend on the road but couldn’t push it over the top,” Fredonia State coach Jeff Meredith said.

With 2:56 left, Blue Devil sophomore forward John DeFeo made it a one-goal deficit with his first goal of the season. The Red Dragons’ Mike Henrici scored into an empty net with :27 left. It was Henrici’s second goal of the game, both in the third period.

Junior forward Stephen Castriota scored the other Blue Devil goal while freshman goaltender Christopher Eiserman made 18 saves.

Cortland goaltender Lyle Rocker made 56 saves and the Red Dragons were 3 of 4 on the penalty kill.

Cortland scored on its first shot, an even-strength goal by Brant Sherwood :42 seconds into the opening period. The Blue Devils countered with Castriota’s goal, his first of the season, on a power play at 14:31. The Red Dragons regained a 2-1 lead on a goal by A.J. Moyer with 1:22 left in the first period.

The Blue Devils had a 32-18 advantage in shots through a scoreless second period. They outshot the Red Dragons 26-4 in the third period, yet managed only DeFeo’s goal – his first of the season, assisted by freshman forward Frankie Hart.

“It’s extremely disappointing,” Meredith said referring to Saturday’s loss following his team’s overtime win Friday against Oswego. “The tougher team won (Saturday). They were real physical and took it to us physically. We weren’t ready to respond and got the results we probably deserved. That’s SUNYAC hockey. It is a battle every night; its a meat grinder.”

ASSISTS ADDED: Two additions were made to the scoring in the Blue Devils’ 3-2 overtime win Friday at Oswego. Junior forward Brian Doust was credited with an assist on the Blue Devils’ tying goal late in the third period. An assist to senior forward Alex Perkins was added to the game-winning goal.

Men’s Cross Country

Devils 3rd led by

all-conference Hess

ONEONTA – Fredonia State finished third in the 2013 SUNYAC Men’s Cross Country championship race, led by one all-conference runner and three others in the top 25.

The Blue Devils – ranked No. 9 in the Atlantic Region – accumulated 84 team points, behind Cortland’s 20 and Geneseo’s 41. Those two teams are nationally ranked.

Zakk Hess, a junior, was the Blue Devils’ No. 1 runner. He finished 10th overall with a time of 25:34.9 for 8,000 meters. His placement earned him Second Team All SUNYAC honors.

He and the next three Blue Devil men ran personal-best times for the distance.

Just missing out on Third Team honors was sophomore Collin Mulcahy. He was 17th overall, :2.3 seconds behind the 15th place finisher – the last runner to make the all-conference team. Mulcahy’s time was 25:47.4.

The next three Fredonia State runners were junior Chris Shartrand (19th, 25:51.8), sophomore Kyle Collins (22nd, 25:58.4) and senior Steve Whittemore (35th, 26:25.1).

Displacement finishers were freshman Cody Martini in 26:41.7 and junior Jed Kovalovsky in 27:20.8.

The Blue Devils finished fifth at the 2012 race held at Lake Erie State Park in Portland. Saturday’s race was held at Fortin Park in Oneonta and drew 118 runners from the 10 SUNYAC schools.

Next race is the NCAA Atlantic Regional on Nov. 16 at Letchworth State Park.

Women’s Cross Country

Foltz makes All-SUNYAC

team as Devils finish 5th

ONEONTA – Fredonia State senior Kim Foltz earned a spot on the coveted All-SUNYAC team with a 10th-place finish Saturday at the conference women’s cross country championship race.

Foltz ran the Fortin Park 6,000-meter course in 22:30.3, earning her a spot on the Second Team All SUNYAC – the lone Fredonia State women in the all-conference group. In the process, she broke her own 6K cross country school record by approximately seven seconds. She ran her previous-best time last month at the pre-regional meet on the Letchworth State Park course, the site of the NCAA Atlantic Regional in two weeks.

The Blue Devils finished fifth in the team standings, one place higher than in 2012. In the process, the Blue Devils closed ground on New Paltz, a team to whom they lost by nearly 50 points earlier this season. The margin Saturday was 16 points.

Second in for the Blue Devils was junior Amanda Cocchiara, who was 22nd overall in 23:02.6. She was followed by senior Anna Hourihan, 30th in 23:21.9; senior Alissa Conti (Fredonia), 32nd in 23:25.6; and senior Becca List, 45th in 24:00.1.

Fredonia State’s displacement runners were sophomore Lauren Kotas and junior Emily Palmeri, with times of 24:07.1 and 24:20.5, respectively.

Geneseo won the team title with 26 points. There were 124 runners in the race.