New Paltz Men’s Volleyball Team Serving its Way to the Top

The team celebrated their back-to-back wins on March 4 against MIT and Rivier University. Photo courtesy of Monica D'Ippolito.

As they celebrate their last two wins, the New Paltz Men’s Volleyball team is preparing for their next tri-match against Springfield College on March 9. With a record of 15-6 this season, the Hawks have been giving it their all. The team has been traveling all over, with matches in Illinois, Wisconsin and Massachusetts.

“Our team has been fighting the whole season,” first-year outside hitter, Matt Teplansky, stated. “The most memorable match this year has been against Wentworth. Reversing sweeping them at home was insane.” The match, held on Feb. 4 in New Paltz, was a tight game with the Hawks scraping by with a 3-2 win. 

“We have been having an up-and-down season for sure, where at times nobody in the country can compete with us and at other times we are susceptible to lose any given day,” first-year libero, Luke Hofer, remarked. “Our serving is definitely our biggest strength as we have multiple of the best in the country.”

The team has just welcomed a handful of skillful freshmen, which have been a useful asset to the team. In the 2022 season, the Hawks finished 21-7. Their consistent practice and new techniques are helping them along their way to victory.

“The New Paltz volleyball team is special because of the unbreakable bond we all share,” Hofer stated. “Every single guy endures the same tough conditioning from our coach and has each other’s back no matter what. You really get close with guys when you go to war with them day in and day out.”

In their two most recent matches on March 4, the Hawks went face to face against Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Rivier University in the same afternoon. Hosted in Cambridge, MA, the players arrived fierce and eager to take on their opponents. 

At 1:00 p.m. the team faced their rival, MIT, on the court. New Paltz was tight on the first set, and they secured a kill by fourth-year middle blocker Pat Wing. Things seemed grim in the middle of the match, and the boys weren’t sure if they’d secure the win. As the fourth neared its end and the score was tied, the Hawks knew they had to pull it together for the end. In the fifth, the team was able to give it their all and secure the 3-2 win.

“On the court, the most special thing about this team is our serving pressure,” second-year outside hitter, Carter Lotz, shared. “At this point, we know our win conditions and everything big picture like that so we’ve just been refining smaller things within our offensive and defensive strategies.” 

Later that same day, the boys braved the court again to meet their opponents at Rivier University. The Hawks showed their resiliency with their 3-1 win, feeling confident having just defeated MIT. 

“Every team, especially in the UVC has strengths and weaknesses,” Teplansky added. “We’re working to take advantage of those weaknesses.”

This past month on Feb. 26, the team celebrated its infamous senior day. Players’ family members were in attendance to cheer on the seniors as they finished playing their last season of their cherished sport. 

“We are prepping for future matches by taking it one day at a time and making sure to treat every practice and game like it’s the last opportunity we get because eventually that time will come and we need to be ready,” Hofer shared. 

You can cheer on the boys as they head toward the end of their season. They’ll enter another tri-match on March 11, facing Elmira College and Kean University on their own home court in the AWC.

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About Samantha Salerno 63 Articles
Samantha (Sam) Salerno is a third-year performing arts major who has a passion for writing. This is her third semester on The Oracle. She spent the majority of her summer working for the publication, Fire Island News. You can reach her by emailing salernos2@newpaltz.edu.

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