Despite abundance of young players, volleyball demonstrates success

Geneseo’s volleyball team has consistently won their matches this season thus far, and the team is looking forward to a competitive end of the season and postseason. 

Currently, the women are 17-8 overall and 5-1 in SUNYAC matches. The only conference loss was at the hands of SUNY Brockport, who are the reigning SUNYAC champs. 

 “We have had a lot of good competition, which has challenged us,” head coach Hunter Drews said. 

Drews cited Vassar College and Springfield College as two teams that posed heavy competition for Geneseo—and the team played well against them, even if it didn’t always result in a win. 

The team played at the Rochester Institute of Technology Invitational on Friday Oct. 13, where they lost two out of three games. Their sole victory of the Invitational came in a 3-1 match against RIT. 

The oldest athlete on the team—junior setter Emily Ast—has been extremely important to its success because of her knowledge of the program and her flexibility in playing under three different collegiate coaches. 

 “[Ast] is the exact type of leader you would want on your team,” Drews said. “[She] steps up and teaches the sophomores how to become good leaders as well.” 

Ast’s presence has been crucial on a team where many players are still learning the ropes, according to Drews. In securing such a solid foundation, the team is able to use this cohesion to help them create positive “on the court chemistry,” and allows for them to gain success while playing. 

Whereas many might think having a young team would be a disadvantage, the Knights believe it to be beneficial. They are able to learn together and bond. 

“We weren’t sure how it was going to go with such a young team and it being my first year as head coach, but it’s going really well,” Drews said.  

The athletes truly enjoy spending time with each other, which makes traveling and tournaments fun as well as competitive. Needless to say, the freshmen are already playing an important role in the program and hopefully will continue to do so for the next few years. 

This team certainly does not lack talent—sophomore outside hitter Grace Cergol has already won the title of SUNYAC Athlete of the Week multiple times. The program is making strides, dating back to a resurgence last year, when the team made the SUNYAC Tournament for the first time since 2011. This year, the team is working to return and place well in the tournament. 

 “As the season comes to a close, it becomes all about rankings in your conference,” Drews said. 

The Knights will travel to Oneonta to play against SUNY Fredonia, SUNY Oneonta and SUNY Oswego this weekend. The team has the opportunity to move up in the standings playing these teams, as all of the teams have similar skill levels. The Knights’ last few games of the regular season are preparations for the SUNYAC quarterfinals, which will be held on Oct. 31.