The New Paltz Women’s Volleyball team split the weekend on the road. On Friday, Oct. 15 they traveled to Cortland and fell 3-0 to the Red Dragons. The next day at 1 p.m., they secured a 3-1 victory against the Oswego Lakers.
In the early portion of the Cortland competition, the two teams appeared evenly matched. New Paltz was able to stay in it, earning points off of kills and service errors. Not too long into set one, however, Cortland fell into a scoring streak which led to a 10 point lead over New Paltz.
The Hawks attempted to recover with amazing performances from third-year right side Makenzie Bills and from second-year outside hitter Mackenzie Williams, but ultimately Cortland took the first set 25-19.
In set two, New Paltz similarly struggled to find a lead over Cortland. The Red Dragons capitalized on Hawk errors and service aces to give them a 25-18 set two win.
With one more chance to stay in it, New Paltz gave it their all with kills from third-year middle hitter Victoria Konicki and first-year middle hitter Letisha Perez, but Cortland was too strong. The Hawks ultimately lost set three 25-18, and with that, the game.
The Cortland game was New Paltz’s second loss in the SUNYACs after falling 3-0 to Fredonia on Oct. 9. Luckily, they had a chance for redemption the next day against Oswego.
The opening set was a bit of a toss up as both teams scored back and forth. Oswego, celebrating their senior day, had an experienced lineup that put up 15 kills. New Paltz fought from a deficit to tie the set 24-24, but a bad pass and an attacking error gave Oswego a narrow 26-24 set one victory.
In the next set, it was time for New Paltz to come forward with the kills. They achieved 14, which helped bring the score to another narrow win, but this time in the Hawk’s favor, 25-21. In set three, New Paltz remained diligent with their defense: Konicki and Perez contributed 13 of the team’s 20 blocks of the match.
“Our blocking was a huge part of our win today,” said Head Coach Matt Giufre in a post game interview to Athletics Communications. “Victoria [Konicki] was huge in both matches and Mackenzie Williams was a big threat today. Others contributed with key kills and blocks and the win was a total [team] effort.”
After winning 25-22, the Hawks cruised into an easy set four victory, 25-15, taking Oswego down.
“Vic and Mack were big on offense again today and you can’t overlook Letisha’s 19 points she scored for us. That was a major factor,” Giufre said.
The win brought New Paltz back to .500 on the season. The Hawks now have an overall record of 10-10 with 5-2 in the conference. After a long stretch on the road, New Paltz is welcoming the Geneseo Knights to Hawk Center on Friday, Oct. 22 at 6 p.m. The Knights are currently on a four game winning streak; how will the Hawks fare against them?