Volleyball learns from losses, prepares for upcoming matches

The Geneseo volleyball team continued their success last weekend in Poughkeepsie. The Knights played three games this weekend along the Hudson River: the team faced the Nazareth College Golden Flyers on Friday Sept. 29, the Western Connecticut State Colonials and host school Vassar College Brewers both on Saturday Sept. 30.

After losing the first set to Nazareth, the Knights responded with three straight set victories to clinch the match. Sophomore outside hitter Grace Cergol led the team in 17 kills and sophomore defensive specialist Sam Mendelsohn had a match high of 19 digs.

For those who have never formally played volleyball, there is plenty of unique terminology that can be difficult to understand. Key individual statistics for a given game include kills and digs. A kill is a successful legal point scoring play and is awarded to the player that scores that point. The point can either be scored off a spike, tip or dump. Digs are defensive statistics that are awarded to players who successfully prevent a spiked ball from hitting the ground.  

After the first win, the Knights had to bounce back for a doubleheader on Saturday Sept. 30, starting with Western Connecticut State. The match marked the tenth consecutive victory for the Knights, making them the most victorious team in the SUNYAC. 

Although they experienced a lot of success over the past few weeks, Geneseo struggled during their second game on Saturday. Facing the host college Vassar, the Knights were victims of a shut out—bringing an abrupt end to their winning streak. 

“It was sad in the moment, but it’s motivating us to do even better in the upcoming SUNYAC Pool Play,” sophomore middle blocker Kat Vernon said. 

Geneseo will host a trio of SUNYAC teams on their home court. Needless to say, all three games are crucial for the Knights as they strive to remain at the top of their conference. 

The Knights will face the SUNY Cortland Red Dragons on Friday Oct 6. Cortland has a 1-2 record in conference play coming into this match and the team has not maintained their success from earlier this decade, when they won three consecutive SUNYAC titles. 

Perhaps the most highly anticipated game of the season will occur at noon on Saturday Oct. 7 when the Knights take on the SUNY Brockport Golden Eagles. Brockport is tied for first place with Geneseo in the SUNYAC standings. Not only will the match be hard-fought, but it could also come with significant consequences. 

Although the Knights have a better overall record, Geneseo and Brockport could very well find themselves with the same record by the end of the season. That being said, this match will be the dispositive tie-breaker should there be any ties in the final standings. 

This is important, as the team’s record directly affects their seeding. When it comes to the SUNYAC tournament at the end of this month, a team’s ranking means everything. Brockport has won the past two consecutive SUNYAC titles and even made it to the third round in the 2016 NCAA Division III Regional Tournament. 

The Knights will finish off their busy weekend against the last place Buffalo State Bengals Saturday Oct. 7 at 5 p.m. in Geneseo.u