Volleyball struggles continue at RIT and Ithaca

After a weekend filled with ups and downs, the women's volleyball team came away with a record of 1-3 for the weekend and 5-9 overall following the RIT Invitational on Sept. 17 and 18.

In the first match against the Rochester Institute of Technology, the Knights failed to seal the win after forcing a fifth set. Head coach Jennifer Salmon said that even though the squad did not clinch a victory against RIT, the Knights played at a level in which they "could have, and probably should have, won."

Following the RIT match, the Knights' mental toughness was tested against familiar foes St. John Fisher College and nationally-ranked New York University.

The women's result against St. John Fisher was the same as in the previous meeting between the two teams - another loss. Given the possibility that the Knights could have avenged their defeat, losing 0-3 made what was a single mark in the loss column seem much more devastating.

"They didn't beat us, we beat ourselves," Salmon said. "The [St. John] Fisher match was by far the biggest disappointment [of the weekend]."

Next for the Knights was nationally-ranked New York University. While the women were able to keep up during the first two sets, the third set was one-sided to say the least. This loss was just another leg of the roller coaster ride the team has been on for the better part of the season.

After a heavy dose of some "spirited vocal encouragement" by coach Salmon in an attempt to light a fire under the team, the Knights looked to have positive showing against conference rival SUNY Potsdam.

Though the Knights were on an extreme low coming into the match, Potsdam was riding a wave of momentum having just defeated the excellent Nazareth College team. Salmon noted, "Potsdam was stronger than previous years, and now they had all the momentum too."

The first set didn't go as planned as the Knights lost 14-25. This match would be different from the rest, however. Winning the second and third sets handedly, the team played as if the Knights were on a winning streak, setting the stage for a possible five set thriller.

"Their hustle and drive I wanted to see from them was finally there," said Salmon. She added that her team did become "complacent, and too comfortable in the fourth … and let Potsdam control the set."

Through the combination of sophomore Laura Galvin's all-around solid play and senior Krista Frieling's dominating offensive abilities, the Knights controlled the fifth set and were able to earn the win.

Moving forward, Salmon said she will be looking for more consistency in the team's play from match to match, and hopes to replace the team's "complacency on the court" with the drive and desire to take over and finish off opponents.

The Knights will be hosting a SUNYAC tournament this Friday and Saturday.

Eds. Note:

The volleyball team couldn't capitalize on its promising win against SUNY Potsdam on Saturday, losing to Ithaca College in four sets on Tuesday.

The Knights now fall to 5-10 on the season as they prepare to host SUNYAC West round robin play on Friday and Saturday.