Volleyball continues up and down season at Ithaca

Following a weekend full of highs and lows at a tournament at Ithaca College on Sept. 10 and 11, the women's volleyball team came away with a record of 2-2 for the tournament and 4-5 overall.

Drawing from its tough experience at the New York University tournament the previous weekend, the team was able to bounce back from an initial defeat against St. John Fisher College by overcoming SUNY Oneonta - who St. John Fisher defeated hours earlier - with a score of 3-1.

"The Oneonta game was the best the girls had played since the first game of the season against Nazareth [College]," head coach Jennifer Salmon said. She complimented the extra effort and visible determination that junior Kat Strickland spread to the rest of the squad.

A strong 3-1 win over Bible Baptist College and Seminary earlier in the tournament was another encouraging sign that the team was continuing to mesh and regain the flow that they had displayed in their defeat of Nazareth earlier in the season. Another prominent effort was needed and delivered by Strickland against Bible Baptist; all four games of the match ended in less than a four-point margin of victory.

Even though the team had an average weekend record-wise, losing 1-3 to Skidmore College and 0-3 to St. John Fisher, Salmon said she was pleased with the team's overall showing. She added that she was content with the results because "the girls certainly played their hearts out this weekend, even in the losses."

Since it was still early on in the season, Salmon said she did not know what to expect from her young squad coming into the Ithaca tournament. After witnessing the vigor the women displayed against Oneonta, however, she said she is anxious to see her team continue to mesh and achieve its maximum potential. With the team beginning to gain confidence and come together on the court, Salmon said she is now looking for increased consistency and has high expectations for the rest of the season.

Some of these expectations stem from the surprising depth in talent the Knights are fortunate to possess. While Salmon said it can be challenging at times for her to find the right combination of players, she said she is "confident in putting anyone out there," and noted that being unsure of player arrangements is "a good problem for a coach to have."

The team will face St. John Fisher again this Friday, Sept. 17, where Salmon said they hope to improve and make up for the poor showing they had during their previous encounter.

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