After an offseason that saw the acquisition of nine freshmen, the women’s volleyball team started off its season with a dismal 1-3 performance at the New York University tournament on Friday Aug. 31 and Saturday Sept. 1.
The first day of the tournament began with a tight match against the team from the Stevens Institute of Technology.
The Knights started the match well, taking the first two sets, 25-17, 25-22. Stevens fought back, taking the next two sets, 25-20, 25-19. The Knights fought for the victory by winning their final set, 15-10.
“I was very impressed with how the team came back in the fifth set and finished the match,” head coach Jen Salmon said in an email.
Freshman outside hitter Lizzy Morton led the way with 15 kills, 14 digs and three service aces.
“[Morton] was the standout during that match,” Salmon said. “She was consistent, aggressive and played very well both offensively and defensively.”
A match against University of Wisconsin-Platteville then tested the Knights. Geneseo was unable to ride the wave of momentum from its opening match against Stevens and lost to UWP in three sets, 22-25, 13-25, 25-27.
On the final day of the tournament, the Knights faced the eventual tournament winner Salisbury University. Morton and junior Alex Wende led the attack with six and seven kills, respectively, but overall were unsuccessful. They dropped all three sets, 25-19, 25-23, 25-14.
In the Knights’ final game, the team played host NYU. Geneseo seemed to be on track, winning the first set 25-22, but then ran out of steam. The Knights went on to lose the next three sets 25-22, 25-25, 25-22. Morton put up impressive numbers with 11 kills and 16 digs while junior Julia Gangloff gave out 27 assists.
The Knights ended the tournament in fifth place. Morton garnered All-Tournament recognition for contributing 35 kills, 32 digs and five service aces with a .170 hitting percentage over four matches.
Although the Knights fell in this tournament, coach Salmon said she remains encouraged by the talent of the team. Despite the departure of key seniors, she said she sees the potential of the youthful squad.
“The first years bring a lot of energy and heart to the program,” Salmon said. “Being able to compete with high level programs in the first weekend on the road with a team made up of nine first years is promising. I am looking forward to what the team can achieve this season.”
On Friday Sept. 7 and Saturday Sept. 8, the Knights will participate in Ithaca College’s Bomber Invitational.
Editor’s Note: The Knights were scheduled to travel to the Hilbert College Hawks on Wednesday Sept. 5; however the game was cancelled. No make-up game date has been announced yet.