Otero Notches 1000th Dig in UAlbany Volleyball 3-0 Defeat vs. St. John's
ALBANY, N.Y. – Nicole Otero earned her 1000th career collegiate dig on Friday night in the opening night of the Desmond Hotel Invitational, but fell in three sets to St. John’s (15-25, 16-25, 18-25) in the nightcap match.
Otero notched the 1000th dig in the third set of the match, marking that achievement in her junior season.
UAlbany (0-4) was unable to overcome St. John’s (4-1), which hit .367 in the match. UAlbany had 29 kills in the match compared to 43 for the Red Storm.
“We are a young and inexperienced team, and we just need to work on earning our high points and improving from our low points,” said UAlbany head coach MJ Engstrom.
Otero finished with nine digs in the match and has 1,001 in her career. Chloe Evering notched eight kills to lead UAlbany, adding four digs, while Akuabata Okenwa and Taylor Robinson each had six kills.
Jordan McCalla had a double-double of 11 kills and 11 digs for St. John’s while Julia Cast concluded with 14 kills and two blocks.
Into set one, a 4-0 start, with kills from three different players, gave St. John’s the early advantage, later leading 8-3. With a couple of powerful kills from Okenwa and Robinson, UAlbany earned the next four to pull within one at 8-7. Following an exchange, Cast had two kills in a St. John’s 4-0 sprint to make it 13-8 Red Storm. After back and forth play, including Danielle Tedesco having two kills, St. John’s pulled away with a late 5-0 run en route to a 25-15 set victory.
Again St. John’s started off with an early run, this one 5-0, to lead to a 5-1 advantage, later 7-2 with two McCalla kills. A couple of kills from Evering and Robinson ended the run, but six straight Red Storm points made the score 14-5 St. John’s. A couple more runs gave St. John’s a 23-11 advantage. UAlbany started to battle back off Larissa Focosi’s serving, using a couple of Evering kills to pull with seven at 23-16. But St. John’s won the final two points to take set two 25-16 and go up 2-0.
Including a Kelly Cameron ace, UAlbany began the first set ahead 3-1. St. John’s got five of the next six to lead 6-4, then UAlbany pushed back with four of the next five, started by an Evering kill, to go back ahead 8-7. Four kills capped a 5-0 St. John’s run, then after two UAlbany points, the Red Storm got four more, despite Otero picking up her 1000th dig, to lead 16-10. The exchanges continued, with Robinson flooring two kills to get UAlbany with six at 22-16. That is as close as UAlbany came as St. John’s grabbed set three 25-18 and too match match in three.
In the earlier match of the day, Colgate defeated Temple in three sets (25-20, 25-14, 25-15).
The Desmond Hotel Invitational continues tomorrow at the University Gym. UAlbany takes on Colgate at 1 p.m. and Temple at 7 p.m.