Last chance to shine for volleyball

Five regular-season matches left, and for the volleyball team, the Knights have nothing to lose. Geneseo went 1-6 in the previous two weeks, snapping a five-game losing streak with their single win over Medaille College on Saturday Oct. 19. Three losses counted toward their 1-5 conference record – pushing the Knights to ninth place in the SUNYAC standings, ahead of SUNY Brockport.

Geneseo didn’t have one singular recurring problem over the seven games; some opponents just overpowered the Knights. For instance, Clarkson Unicersity, was “by far, levels above any team we’ve seen this season,” head coach Jen Salmon said. And against SUNY Oswego, Geneseo couldn’t fight off the Lakers’ discipline and blocking skills.

But consistent inconsistency, as Salmon said, continued to plague the Knights, as it has throughout the season. She hopes that this year of experience will help their court skills as well as their confidence.

Facing Clarkson on Oct. 18 also provided an opportunity for the Knights to see “where Division III volleyball can be,” Salmon said. “I think it kind of motivated them.”

Geneseo bounced back after the loss to Clarkson and defeated Medaille. Not only did the Knights sweep Medaille 3-0, but Salmon also thought the victory “brought that life back to the team,” after the string of losses.

Sophomore Paige Pendleton stood out among the Knights, offensively and defensively, with eight kills, five block assists and five solo blocks. Freshman Tricia Baxley and sophomore Lizzy Morton added nine and six kills, respectively.

Geneseo closes out conference play when the Knights host SUNY Oneonta, SUNY Fredonia and SUNY Plattsburgh on Friday Oct. 25 and Saturday Oct. 26. Both Fredonia and Plattsburgh stand at 4-2 – tied for third place within SUNYAC.

With conference leader SUNY New Paltz undefeated at 6-0, the Knights seem far from a SUNYAC championship or even the bid to the tournament. Salmon, though, remains optimistic about the postseason.

“This is where we can really show who we are and how talented we are,” she said.

The team could squeeze into the playoffs if they go 3-0 – something that is possible, according to Salmon.

And as she pointed out, it’s almost beneficial to be in this position instead: potentially receiving a spot in postseason play with a very successful weekend rather than having to defend their standing within tight conference standings.

“We don’t have anything to lose,” Salmon said. “We can just play.”