The Geneseo volleyball team had an impressive outing in their first home match on Tuesday Sept. 15, shutting out Keuka College 3-0. The Knights seemed to be in control the whole time, the closest sets being 25-14 in the first and third games. This game is definitely a great stepping-stone for the team as they head into conference play. Head coach Amber Dunn is confident that this is the start of something great. “I like home matches, as they bring a different aura to the team. I like how there are different emotions associated with playing in your own gym in front of your friends and family and that can help you out a lot,” she said. “Even with this being the first home game of the season, we still are treating it just like every other game and I fully expect our girls to be ready to give it their all.”
Geneseo got major contributions from seniors Paige Pendleton and Paige O’Connor. Pendleton had a game high of 12 kills—leading both teams—while O’Connor added 11 kills of her own. Other impressive statistics of the night came from junior Danielle Sayler—who had 14 digs—while senior outside hitter Lizzy Morton contributed 12 digs. Together, Sayler and Morton had to 26 of the Knights’ 48 digs.
With SUNYAC play right around the corner, Geneseo will look to continue their success on the road—they do not have another home game until Oct. 21. This means a lot of games on the road. The Knights have only had a record of 3-6 at neutral or away matches this season. Dunn said that this stretch will do the team good and will help with their intensity and determination to win.
“These next few weeks will be a great test for us to see where we stand … I think we have a chance to make some strides during this time and really show other teams that we can be competitive,” Dunn said. “We have been playing well together and if we can pull these pieces together, we can really do something special come tournament time.”
With the injury to junior outside hitter Tricia Baxley, other players have been forced to step up and contribute. Dunn emphasized the idea that this team can easily overcome adversity when it is needed.
“Our biggest key to success this season is the pass and serve game. We plan on doing that often, but we will not use it all the time. Different teams require a different strategy and from the scouting I have done so far, that is very clear,” she said. “Our team has a strong ‘next man up’ mentality, so when injuries occur and players go down, we know that other people will step up and provide us with the skills necessary to win.”
The Knights play on Friday Sept. 18 against Nazareth College at the Rochester Institute of Technology.