On Friday Sept. 27, the Knights took down SUNY Potsdam in a hard-fought comeback. After dropping the first two sets, the Knights extended the match to five sets with scores of 25-18, 25-17 and 15-7 in the final three.
Senior outside hitter Grace Cergol totaled 18 kills and six service aces while senior outside hitter Abby May added 16 kills of her own to lead the Knights to their 3-2 victory. Senior libero Sam Mendelsohn continued her trend and had the game-high 16 digs. May notched her third consecutive outing with double-digit kills, following up a 15-kill showing in last Saturday’s 3-2 win opposite Rowan College.
Sophomore outside hitter Maddie McLaughlin and junior Kiersten Colvin ended the match with 11 and 10 kills, respectively. Mendelsohn compiled 16 digs to move within three of the all-time program record, held by Jessica McKenna ’10 at 1,556. Geneseo finished the match with a season-high 16 service aces led by Cergol and Colvin.
On Saturday Sept. 28, the wins column grew for the Knights as they took down SUNY Plattsburgh in three straight sets.
Mendelsohn totaled nine digs to bring her career total to 1,562, breaking the Knights’ all-time career record in their 3-0 victory. Mckenna and Mendelsohn are the only two players to surpass 1,400 digs in program history.
In addition to Mendelsohn’s milestone, Cergol led the way with a match-high 10 kills. Ranked second in program history with 1,386, she is 14 short of becoming only the second player in program history to eclipse 1,400 kills. Junior middle blocker Allison Wick led the team with three blocks and junior outside hitter Gabby Ayzenberg led the team with two service aces.
This victory added to the already special occasion of senior night when the four Knights that will graduate in the spring were honored. The four seniors moving on from their significant Geneseo careers are Cergol, Mendelsohn, May and middle blocker Kat Vernon.
Vernon summed up the festivities, giving credit to the younger players who helped make the night special. “My senior day experience was great, despite my sprained ankle. The juniors and underclassmen did an amazing job setting everything up and making the day perfect for us,” she said. “It was a great day to celebrate with our friends, family, teammates and coaches.”
Vernon mentioned how important it is to focus on fundamentals throughout the season. “Our game on Friday was definitely a learning experience,” she said. “We learned that we need to work on finishing games in a stronger fashion.”
She also went on to say that she has no doubt in the team’s ability to adapt. “Our next SUNYAC match-up is this upcoming weekend. These games will challenge us, especially as we figure out our style of play, but I have no doubt that we will end the weekend with two more conference wins,” she said.
When asked who on the Geneseo squad deserves recognition, Vernon mentioned three of her teammates that exceeded expectations. “I think [junior outside hitter] Alex Frank deserves some recognition for her relentless defense and for stepping up and playing front row for us and absolutely killing it in our game on Saturday against Plattsburgh,” she said. “Also, Sam Mendelsohn for breaking the school record on career digs. Lastly, Abby May had an incredible weekend with 25 total kills. It was exciting to see her really connect with setters and put those balls away.”
Up next for the Knights is a home weekend, starting on Friday Oct. 4 and continuing into Saturday Oct. 5. On Friday, Buffalo State College will travel to play at 6 p.m. while on Saturday SUNY Fredonia comes to face Geneseo at 1 p.m.