Volleyball breaks even at RIT Invitational

On Sept. 16 and 17 the women's volleyball team improved their record to 9-5 at the Rochester Institute of Technology Invitational.

"The expectations were to play hard," head coach Jen Salmon said. "We were down our best outside hitter, [sophomore] Alex Wende, so we wanted to play the best we could."

Going into the tournament, the goal was to reach 3-1, but the squad fell short and went 2-2, a tie for fifth of 12 total teams. Geneseo defeated Medaille College and St. John Fisher College, who they faced earlier this season with the same results.

In the opening match, the Knights faced New York University for the second time this season. At the NYU Invitational, Geneseo dropped a three set decision, 16-25, 19-25 and 21-25. This time around, the Knights struggled in another three set match, 24-26, 24-26 and 16-25.

Sophomore Ronnie Guszcza and senior Kat Strickland led the offense, with eight and seven kills, respectively. Guszcza also added five service aces. Sophomore transfer Julia Gangloff totaled 19 assists.  

In the second match, Geneseo defeated Medaille in three sets, 25-20, 25-19 and 25-23. Gangloff dished out 15 assists and six service aces to pace the Knights. Guszcza had seven kills, sophomore Noelle Morrison added 12 assists and junior Laura Galvin posted 22 digs.  

Due to Wende's injury, senior Jackie Inserillo stepped up and "played well on Saturday especially," coach Salmon said. "She is one of our captains … a leader, and she was able to do a little more leading on the court."

On the second day of the tournament, the Knights split the final pair of games. Against St. Lawrence University, the Knights fell in four sets, 24-26, 18-25, 25-16 and 15-25. Guszcza and Strickland pounded 17 kills collectively to lead the Knights, while Gangloff tallied 21 assists and five service aces.

After five sets, the Knights came out on top against St. Fisher in the final match, 14-25, 25-17, 25-20, 15-25 and 15-12. Morrison dominated with 44 assists, eight digs and three blocks. Freshman Jessica Prater led the offense with 14 kills, while Guszcza and Inserillo added 12 and eight, respectively.

"We ended on a high note … That was one positive thing that came out of the weekend," Salmon said. "We also feel that we have a set starting line up going into SUNYACs."

Geneseo begins conference play on Sept. 23 at Buffalo State College with a busy, four-match weekend.

 "I would like to go 4-0," coach Salmon said. "I think we can go 4-0, especially if Wende's healthy and ready. I don't see a reason why we wouldn't. [SUNY] Fredonia will be our toughest match. Buff State and [SUNY] Brockport will be competitive as well. We need to play hard to go 4-0."