With only four matches before the SUNYAC tournament, the SUNY New Paltz Women’s Volleyball team has their sights set on finishing their season strong.
The team, which currently is 22-10 overall and has yet to lose at home this season, has had the SUNYAC Tournament in their sights all season and will not deter from their normal preparation according to Head Coach Matt Giufre.
“I want to win every game. I don’t put a different value on one over another,” Giufre said. “We’ll practice the things we need to work on and continue to improve over the next few weeks so we play our best volleyball now.”
The tournament will begin on Nov. 4, but before then the team hopes to finish the remaining matches of their schedule before setting their minds to the SUNYACs.
The Hawks split matches between SUNYAC schools on Oct. 22 and 23, losing against SUNY Cortland and Oneonta. They came back the next day and defeated SUNY Plattsburgh and Potsdam without losing a match.
The remaining games on the schedule include an invite at Skidmore College that Giufre believes will be a great challenge for the team prior to the tournament.
“If we maintain a high level of play, focus and preparation, the results will take care of themselves,” Giufre said.
Co-Captain Dana Kindelmann said while the team has gone through “rough patches” over the past few weeks, she hopes that the team can keep the right mind-set and accomplish their goals.
Third-year Melinda DiGiovanna said the teams biggest obstacle in winning the tournament will be being able to come together and fight through their opponents – but added that if the team abides by their year long motto of “just do it” they should be able to win.
“We are a very talented team that is completely able to win the title. It all depends on what we do on our side of the court,” DiGiovanna said.
Despite the potential obstacles, Giufre believes the Hawks will win, highlighting that over the course of the year the Hawks played numerous tough teams, preparing them “for anything” they come across.
“As long as we have good practices and go out and compete aggressively, I don’t foresee any major obstacles,” Giufre said.
While the tournament is still a week away, Kindelmann said she remembers the feeling of victory that overcame her at last year’s tournament.
“It would feel great to end my volleyball career as a Hawk on such a high note, and I want the younger girls to feel how amazing that victory is,” she said.
Kindelmann and DiGiovanna both said that when they step onto the court for the first time during the tournament, their thought process will be the same – win.
“I want to win. I go into every match like this,” DiGiovanna said. “There are at least 25 points a game and I understand that they won’t all go my way, but if I do everything I can, hopefully my side will come out on top.”