SUNY New Paltz Women’s Volleyball Don’t Drop a Set, Roll Through Brockport and Cortland

By James O’Neill

CORTLAND – The State University of New York at New Paltz women’s volleyball team earned two more conference wins Saturday, beating The College at Brockport 3-0 (28-26, 25-14, 25-21) and SUNY Cortland 3-0 (25-16, 25-18, 25-17) in day two of State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) pool play.

SUNY New Paltz jumps to 14-3 on the season, going undefeated for a 3-0 SUNYAC record in its first weekend of conference matches. The Hawks did not drop a single set throughout the three games.

“We are really excited about how we played this weekend,” said Hawks coach Matt Giufre. “We played very consistent and emotionally steady, and showed a determination to win that we haven’t always shown the last couple of years.”

SUNY New Paltz went back and forth early against the Golden Eagles (8-8 overall, 2-1 SUNYAC). A kill by sophomore outside hitter Julie Greenspan tied the first set at 10 and got the offense going for the Hawks, scoring five more unanswered points to gain a 15-10 lead. After another 4-0 run extended their lead to 21-14, The College at Brockport started up its scoring as well.

Eight unanswered points by the Golden Eagles gave them the lead, 22-21. A timeout by coach Giufre was the trick to shift momentum, as the Hawks came out and scored four unanswered points of their own, capped off by a senior setter Meredith Dignan kill to give them back the lead, 25-22.

The College at Brockport answered with a 4-1 run to tie the set at 26. It proved not enough, however, as junior middle hitter Kerri Neville sealed the set for the Hawks with two kills to win, 28-26.

Never allowing the Golden Eagles to grab the lead, the second set was tightly contested until SUNY New Paltz jumped ahead at 17-14. An eight-unanswered point run, featuring three kills by junior outside hitter Madison Van Pelt and two by Greenspan, gave the Hawks the set, 25-14.

With SUNY New Paltz holding a 2-0 advantage into the third, The College at Brockport grabbed an early 13-7 lead in the set. The Hawks responded with another eight-unanswered point run, finished off with three Neville kills to quickly put them in front, 15-13. The Golden Eagles stayed close at 20-18, but a 5-3 run was enough for SUNY New Paltz to take the set, 25-21, and the match 3-0.

The win marks the Hawks’ first against The College at Brockport since 2014.

“We were able to put the past behind us, and focus on playing a good match against them this year,” Giufre said. “They’re a very well coached team, so getting the win today is something to be proud of.”

After the Hawks tied the first set with SUNY Cortland (5-9 overall,1-2 SUNYAC) at eight, they would not allow the Red Dragons to regain the lead. At 16-14 SUNY New Paltz, a service error sparked a five unanswered-point streak to extend the Hawks lead to 21-13. SUNY New Paltz would win the set, 25-16.

The Hawks gained control in a hard fought second set when sophomore outside hitter Demi Herasme spiked a kill to gain the lead at 12-11. The play began a 8-2 run, giving SUNY New Paltz a 20-13 advantage. The Hawks then fought off SUNY Cortland until the end and took the set, 25-18.

Grabbing an early 5-0 lead in the third set, SUNY New Paltz forced the Red Dragons to take an early timeout. It allowed SUNY Cortland to tie the score at 10. Back and forth at 13-13, a kill by Greenspan got the Hawks’ offense going again, scoring five unanswered points to take the lead, 18-13. Another four-unanswered point run for the Hawks eventually led to a kill by Neville and two by Van Pelt to take the set, 25-17, and the win, 3-0.

SUNY New Paltz returns to action Thursday when it faces Hunter College in the Hawk Center at 6:30 p.m.

“Hunter this week has regional ranking implications, so it’s a big match for us,” Giufre said. “This weekend is a good start for SUNYAC play, but there’s still work to do.”

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