Volleyball sweeps weekend, improves to 7-3

On Sept. 9 and 10, the women's volleyball team outlasted the competition and captured the Ithaca College Invitational championship.

The win was a "pleasant surprise" for head coach Jen Salmon, who said she expected to leave the tournament 2-2.

"[They played] extremely well," Salmon said. "They won three five-set matches, which is not an easy task. They proved that they have the will to win, a lot of heart and a lot of determination because there are girls who played 19 sets, which is a lot of volleyball in two days."

Coach Salmon continued, "What's nice is that our second best middle didn't play the whole weekend, and the [St. John] Fischer match we won with our non-starter setter. That supports the fact that we do have a lot of depth . . . We are able to rely on a lot of people, which is nice."

In the opening match of the tournament, Geneseo faced SUNY Oneonta in a four-set match. Sophomores Alex Wende and Ronnie Guszcza led the Knights to a win with 12 kills each. Sophomore Noelle Morrison added 32 assists and 16 digs.

In the second match, the Knights defeated Pennsylvania's Widener University in five sets, 28-26, 18-25, 22-25, 25-22 and 15-10. Senior Kat Strickland contributed 10 kills, five blocks and three service aces, while Morrison totaled 37 assists and seven digs. Wende added 14 kills and junior Laura Galvin notched 13 digs.

On the second day, Strickland struck 16 kills to lead Geneseo to a 25-12, 25-18, 22-25, 20-25 and 17-15 victory over Ithaca. Morrison dished out 43 assists, Wende totaled 11 kills and Galvin provided 27 digs.

In the final match against St. John Fisher College, Geneseo took the win in another five set match – the third consecutive for the tournament. Wende tallied 19 kills to lead the Knights. Galvin, an All-tournament team selection, contributed 27 digs, while Strickland, who was named Most Valuable Player, totaled 13 kills.

"I think after this weekend, we will be able to raise our expectations for the season," Salmon said. "We want to keep working towards winning SUNYACs. Every match is important, but I think that on the road to SUNYACs we need to make it a priority to be peaking at the right time, and constantly improving."

The Knights improve their record to 7-2, and look to maintain it past the home opener on Sept. 14 against the University of Rochester.

Editor's Note:

The Knights fell to the University of Rochester, 1-3 on Sept. 14. A pair of NCAA Division III records fell in the process as the Knights won the opening set with a record score of 42-40, overtaking the previous mark of 41 set in 2009 by Washington University of St. Louis. After winning the final three sets 25-16, 25-18 and 26-24, Rochester also wrote its way  into the record books, scoring a total of 116 and surpassing  the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater's all-time mark of 109, which was set in 2008.