The Geneseo Knights volleyball team are 9-0 in conference play after a triumphant weekend of SUNYAC pool play. To increase their record to 20-7 overall, they took down SUNY Plattsburgh, SUNY New Paltz and SUNY Fredonia.
This was a huge weekend for both the Knights and the New Paltz Hawks, as they were tied for first place and playing for home court advantage during SUNYACs.
Sophomore outside hitter Bridget Lougen believes the fight for home court advantage contributed to the big wins.
“Going into the weekend there was a mixture of emotions,” Lougen said. “Some of us were definitely nervous … and other were just fired up to play and we had the mindset that we were not going to New Paltz [for SUNYACs].”
On Friday Oct. 19, the Knights defeated the SUNY Plattsburgh Cardinals in three games with scores of 25-14, 25-10 and 25-17. The Knights proved to be too strong for the Cardinals to overcome.
Sophomore middle blocker Kiersten Colvin swung for four kills and had three digs. Senior setter Emily Ast set 29 assists and served up three aces. Sophomore outside hitter Alexandra Frank swung for five kills, set up one assist, served two aces and got up five digs.
The Knights battled New Paltz in one of the most important games the Knights will play in this season on Saturday Oct. 20. Clinching the victory in all three games, the Knights also clinched the hosting position for this year’s SUNYAC tournament.
Both teams were playing to maintain their first seed position, but the Knights proved to be the better team in this match-up.
Colvin had four kills and three digs while sophomore middle blocker Bridget Lougen had six kills and three digs. Freshman outside hitter Maddie McLaughlin had 11 kills and sophomore outside hitter Gabrielle Ayzenberg had 19 digs. Frank had one of her best matches of the season with a double-double of 12 kills, 15 digs, two assists and one ace.
“The week leading up to the game, my only thoughts were just doing my best to try to fill the huge hole that opened when [junior outside hitter Grace Cergol] got hurt,” Frank said. “The day we played New Paltz it switched from wanting to just try my best to wanting my team to be the best, so anything I could do to make that happen, I would.”
Later that Saturday, the Knights faced the Fredonia Blue Devils. With a few key players out for the game, the Knights didn’t back down and went into the game full speed ahead.
After falling in the first game 24-26, the Knights were able to pick it up and beat the Blue Devils in the remaining three games with scores of 25-17, 25-20 and 25-18. Lougen had a team high 15 kills, along with an ace and a dig. Ast had a double double with 39 assists and 15 digs. Frank had five kills and 13 digs.
The Knights will use the tough competition they will see this weekend to prepare them for what they will see in the SUNYAC weekends to come.
“Practices [leading up to SUNYAC play] will focus on ball control and effective scrimmaging,” Frank said.
The Knights travel to Maryland this upcoming weekend where they will play Clarkson University at Frostburg State on Friday Oct. 26 at 8 p.m. On Saturday Oct. 27 they play Salisbury University at Frostburg at 3 p.m. and Frostburg at 5 p.m.
The first semi-final game will feature the winner of Oswego vs. Brockport against New Paltz. The second semi-final will feature the winner of SUNY Potsdam vs. Fredonia against Geneseo. Both games will take place at Geneseo on Nov. 2. The SUNYAC championship will be Saturday Nov. 3.