Volleyball loses title matchup against New Paltz, plans to return stronger next season

Sophomore middle blocker Kiersten Colvin (pictured above) makes a play on the ball in the Knights semi-final victory against SUNY Fredonia on Friday Nov. 3. The win propelled the team to a SUNYAC title matchup with SUNY New Paltz which they would lose by a score of 3-0 (Udeshi Seneviratne/photo editor).

With an overall record of 22-10 and conference record of 9-0, the Geneseo Knights volleyball team’s season came to a close after a loss to the SUNY New Paltz Hawks in the SUNYAC championship game on Saturday Nov. 3.

The Knights swept the SUNY Fredonia Blue Devils on Friday Nov. 2. In previous meetings this season, the Knights beat both New Paltz and Fredonia handily with set scores of 3-0 and 3-1, respectively in regular season play.

The set scores of Friday’s match against Fredonia were 25-17, 26-24 and 25-21. Senior setter Emily Ast set up 28 assists and had six digs. Junior outside hitter Abby May swung for eight kills and had four digs. Junior libero Sam Mendelsohn had 14 digs and junior outside hitter Grace Cergol contributed a double-double with 15 kills and 11 digs. 

Winning this match meant Geneseo advanced to the SUNYAC Championship for the first time in 12 seasons and was in the hunt for its first conference championship in program history. 

In the championship game, the scores were 21-25, 20-25 and 23-25, with the Knights falling in all three sets. Sophomore middle blocker Kiersten Colvin had six digs and sophomore middle blocker Bridget Lougen had six kills. Ast had a double-double by setting up 32 assists and diving for 10 digs while sophomore outside hitter Alexandra Frank also had a double-double with 10 kills and 10 digs. 

New Paltz made an appearance in the SUNYAC Championship match for the fifth time in the last six years. The Hawks were looking for their third conference crown to go along with titles in 2009 and 2014. For their efforts, Geneseo setter Emily Ast and Frank were named to the All-Tournament team.

For Ast, Saturday night also marked her last game as a Geneseo volleyball player.

“I think if we could go back and come out with more confidence from the start of the match, we would have had better success,” Ast said of the loss. “I believe having this experience under our belts will help better prepare the team for this match in the future.”

Ast understandably felt emotional as her volleyball career came to an end. 

“Over the course of four years I’ve learned so much that will apply to my life far beyond athletics,” Ast said. “I’ve learned the importance of teamwork and putting other before yourself, how to manage time, how to foster relationships and to find the purpose in everything you do. Volleyball has taught me so much and I know these four years as a Knight will have a huge impact on the rest of my life."