Volleyball wins opener, goes 1-3 in NYU tournament

The women's volleyball team is 2-3 after a grand win over Nazareth College last Wednesday and a series of disappointing losses in New York City last weekend.

The team is comprised of 13 players, seven of whom are new to the squad. "We have a lot of talent for sure," said junior Jackie Inserillo, a team captain in her second year on the team. "We're very dynamic … everyone is very versatile." Junior Kat Strickland and senior Krista Frieling are also captains this year.

Although there is a large influx of new talent, Inserillo said that the players have established great chemistry on and off the court through weeks of practicing and team bonding experiences.

In their first match of the season, the women defeated Nazareth in three sets in front of what Inserillo considered to be one of the largest home crowds the team has ever attracted. "The flow of the team was amazing, especially for our first time on the court together," she said. The third set stretched into a suspenseful 31-29 finish.

Last weekend the team traveled to New York City to play against New York University, ranked 17th in the nation, but lost 0-3. The Knights won 3-0 over NYU-Polytechnic and lost 0-3 to U.S. Coast Guard Academy and 1-3 to Fairleigh Dickinson University at Florham, N.J. that weekend. All of the matches were part of a tournament at NYU.

Head volleyball coach Jennifer Salmon said that the "fluidity of the game wasn't as strong" at the NYU matches as it was in the first game against Nazareth. Although the opponents Geneseo faced over the weekend are strong, Salmon said that the players need to play at the best of their ability every time they step up to the net.

"I'm content with a loss if we played our hearts out, but this weekend that was not the case," she said. "Consistency on our side of the net is key."

These early matches gave Salmon a chance to try out different line-ups, and she said that she is still looking for players to step up into more prominent roles within the group to prove that they want starter spots. She said that she is excited to see the team grow into a cohesive unit in the coming weeks, but also for the program to gain strength as younger players stay with the team for multiple seasons.

This Friday and Saturday the team heads to Ithaca College for a tournament against Baptist Bible College, Skidmore College and two more opponents to be determined. Salmon said that she is looking forward to seeing the team play well and continue to mesh on the court at those matches.

The Knights' next home match is against Ithaca on Sept. 21 at 7 p.m.