Set For Next Year

The Women's Volleyball team's season came to a close on Nov. 6 when the team lost to SUNY Cortland in the SUNYAC finals.
The Women's Volleyball team's season came to a close on Nov. 6 when the team lost to SUNY Cortland in the SUNYAC finals.

The Women’s Volleyball season came to an end on Nov. 6 when the Hawks fell to Cortland in the SUNYAC Volleyball Championship Tournament final.

The team, which had previously been riding an eight-match winning streak, competed against Buffalo State and Fredonia before losing to Cortland.

“We competed against them until the third game where we got in a rut we couldn’t get out of,” Head Coach Matt Giufre said. “We competed, we just didn’t have enough and they played better.”

Giufre, who has coached the Hawks for nine years, has guided the team to 26 wins in each of the past seven seasons and has led his teams to the SUNYAC championships in the past three seasons.

The tournament had many high points for the Hawks, including a win against host SUNY Fredonia.

Giufre believed beating Fredonia was a big match for the Hawks.

“Their fans flooded the place and were loud and obnoxious,” Giufre said. “We had to equal their defensive ability … and doing that was hard … we were able to do that and I was proud of how our players responded to that situation.”

After beating Fredonia in the semi-finals, the Hawks faced Cortland and ultimately lost the game.

The Hawks finished the season with a 28-11 record overall, and went 6-2 in the conference.  The team also had a 10-0 record at home, keeping their home winning streak alive.

Giufre said he thought the Hawks excelled this season despite the team’s young roster.  The Hawks had only two starters from last year’s squad return for the 2010 season, but Giufre said he was pleased with how the team’s season turned out.

Second-year player Michelle Jacobson agreed and thought the team did well considering the roster’s relatively young group of players.

“I think everyone stepped up and worked hard and played together,” Jacobson said.

The Hawks played strong matches in the middle of their season, including a sweep in a nine game home stretch during the Hawk’s Invite and SUNYAC Pool Play.

Looking back on the season, Giufre said he hoped to address the consistency the team lacked over the course of the season when the team plays next year.

“It was bit of a disappointment not making the national tournament, and we had some stretches where we played really good volleyball, but we also had stretches where we struggled a bit,” Giufre said.

The Hawks stumbled at the Wellesley Invite in October, but had a 12-game winning streak in September. They also struggled to find a groove early in the season, and started off the year with a 6-4 record heading into their home games.

As for next year, Giufre said he expects the same as every year – to compete for a championship.

“We have a great core group next year that has been through a lot of ups and downs and a lot of big moments,” Giufre said. “They can rely on that experience to carry them through next year.”

The Hawks will be losing fourth-year students Dana Kindelmann and Stephanie Skrobach to graduation, but will be retaining the rest of their roster.

Despite losing Kindelmann, who was recently named a 2010 American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-America Honorable Mention and Skrobach, Giufre believes the team will be strong next season.

“As long as we work hard and keep our cohesiveness … my expectation is to be in the postseason,” Giufre said.