Volleyball makes SUNYACs for first time in five years

It has been a good week for the Geneseo volleyball team. The team recently qualified for the SUNYACs for the first time since 2011, as the No. 5 seed. In their quarterfinal matchup versus the No. 4 seed SUNY Fredonia, the Knights won to advance to the semifinals on Tuesday Nov. 1.

The team has had a good season, going 17-14 overall and 5-4 in conference play. They will face SUNY Brockport on Friday Nov. 4 in the semifinals at 7 p.m.

“It’s surreal. It’s truly an indescribable feeling. And to feel the support of an entire athletic department, campus and community behind you is even more amazing,” senior captain Tricia Baxley said in an email.

Fredonia was tough competition for the Knights, but it will be a whole different game to play when the Knights face off against Brockport for the semifinals. Brockport finished their regular season with a record of 30-3 and went 9-0 in conference play. In their previous game against Brockport on Oct. 8, the Knights lost 3 sets to 1.

“I think we can absolutely win SUNYACs; there is nothing more motivating than knowing that other teams out there don’t think you can do it, and there’s nothing more fulfilling than proving people wrong,” Baxley said.

While it’s the first time in five years that the Knights qualified for the SUNYACs, Baxley believed that it was going to be a special season right from the beginning.

“Although GSUVB has always been a team with great chemistry, it just felt different this year; any player can look to their left or right and trust the person next to them to get the job done, and that’s so important whether it’s in practice or when the game is on the line,” Baxley said.

While adjusting to the college level for any sport can be difficult, that just wasn’t the case this year with the volleyball team in regard to new players.

“There was no hiccup at all when [the freshmen] first arrived on campus for preseason in August. They stepped right into their roles with confidence, respect and humility,” Baxley said.

Even if the Knights don’t win on Friday, it won’t change the fact that the Knights had an amazing season. For the seniors, though, the semifinals against Brockport could mark their last game as a Knight.

“Four years goes by too quickly and I wish I had one more, but I know that every time I look back on the season that we made it to SUNYACs and proved people wrong I will smile,” Baxley said.

With such a talented freshman class, the SUNYACs could become a norm for the team.

“Not only is each individual team a family, but the athletic department as a whole is a family. Through the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, you can count on any and all teams for support,” Baxley said.

This is something that not many teams, let alone colleges, can say. When you have chemistry like that, anything can happen.