AURORA, N.Y. - The Cortland women's volleyball team defeated host Wells College in a back-and-forth, five-set non-league match, 25-20, 18-25, 25-23, 30-32, 15-11. The Red Dragons improved to 9-13 with the win while the Express dropped to 14-11.
Courtney Silberer (Centereach) and Jessica Allen (Syracuse/West Genesee) posted career highs of 21 and 16 kills, respectively. Allen committed only one error in 28 attempts for a career-best .536 attack percentage, and she also led the team with four blocks.
Alexandra Graff (Apex, NC) totaled a career-high 34 digs and surpassed the career 1,000-dig mark (1,029). Gabby Amelio (Pine Bush) finished with a career-best 51 assists along with four aces and 14 digs. Nicole Silberer (Centereach) added eight kills, Amanda May (Baldwinsville/C.W. Baker) chipped in with six kills (.400 attack percentage) and three blocks, Margorie Didas (Dansville) served three aces, and Valerie Fischer (Williston Park/Mineola) had four kills and 11 digs.
Olyvia Brazier led Wells with 18 kills, followed by Jackie Allen with 13 kills and Rachel Anderson with 11. Eliza Schwab matched Amelio with 51 assists, and Anuhea Leite-Ah Yo recorded 27 digs.
Cortland took an early 6-0 lead in the first set, but Wells eventually closed to within 18-17. A May kill and a Wells error extended the lead to 20-17 and the Red Dragons' lead was at least two the rest of the set. Wells overcame a 9-4 deficit in the second set and slowly pulled away down the stretch to tie the match.
In the third set, Cortland trailed 23-21 after a Lakshmi Martin block, but Courtney Silberer answered with a kill, a block, and another kill to put Cortland up 24-23. Following a timeout, an attack error by the hosts gave Cortland the set and a 2-1 lead.
Cortland led 23-21 in the fourth, but Wells scored three straight points to take a 24-23 lead. Courtney Silberer's kill tied the set at 24-24, and the teams traded points through 30-30. Wells fought off match points at 26-25, 27-26 and 30-29 before eventually winning the set.
Cortland never trailed in the decisive fifth set. With the score tied at 4-4, the Red Dragons rang up four straight points on kills by Nadia Moore (Durham, NC/Durham School of the Arts), Nicole Silberer and May, along with a Wells error, to take an 8-4 lead. The Red Dragons were clinging to a 13-11 lead later in the set before scoring on a Wells mishit, followed by a block from May and Nicole Silberer to end the match and give Cortland its second five-set win over the Express in two years.
The Red Dragons return to action Friday and Saturday with three SUNYAC matches at Buffalo State. Cortland faces the host Bengals Friday at 5 p.m. and will match up with Potsdam and Brockport Saturday at noon and 2:30 p.m., respectively. Cortland is currently in seventh place in the league standings at 2-4, a game behind both Oswego and Oneonta, with these three matches remaining. The top six teams qualify for the SUNYAC tournament.