Women’s Volleyball Breaks Nine-Game Winning Streak

Third-year libero Nicole Fellone is currently first on the team in digs with 266. (Photo courtesy of Robin Weinstein/Office of Communication and Marketing)

The women’s volleyball team ended a seven-game streak of sweeping teams 3-0 Tuesday night, losing to Williams College 0-3 (23-25, 20-25, 22-25). The loss also breaks a nine-game winning streak for the Hawks.

Falling to 15-4 on the year, The loss comes after New Paltz’s impressive run through their first SUNYAC weekend. New Paltz beat Hunter College this past Thursday, Sept. 27 3-0 (25-21, 25-21, 25-15), after sweeping SUNY Cortland, The College at Brockport and Buffalo State in their first weekend of State University at New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) play.

“Our team is exciting and high energy,” said third-year middle hitter Keri Neville. “We’ve really been focusing on our defense, and getting that extra push towards every ball.”

Opening the first set against Buffalo State, two kills by Neville and one by third-year outside hitter Madison Van Pelt gave the Hawks the early 3-1 advantage. The Bengals quickly answered with five unanswered points, jumping out 6-3 and holding the lead throughout most of the set.

At 14-14, New Paltz grabbed the lead once again after a service ace by fourth-year outside hitter Taylor Cimillo and an attacking error put the Hawks in front, 16-14. A timeout by the Bengals could not stop the Hawks run, as two more kills by Neville and another by Van Pelt boosted SUNY New Paltz’s lead, 19-14.

Buffalo State rallied to cut the deficit to two following a three unanswered-point run, which made the set, 24-22, but a ball handling error gave the Hawks the victory, 25-22.

The Bengals stayed within a point of the Hawks throughout the second, but at 15-14 an attacking error, followed by a kill from second-year outside hitter Julie Greenspan sparked a 10-2 run for New Paltz, which propelled the 25-16 victory and 2-0 advantage.

The Hawks proved no match for Buffalo State in the third set. Although the Bengals kept it close at 11-7, nine unanswered points by New Paltz spurred a 20-7 advantage, and was enough to take control. A kill by Cimillo, assisted by fourth-year setter Meredith Dignan, sealed the set 25-9, and the match, 3-0 for the Hawks.

New Paltz 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).

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

Eight unanswered points by the Golden Eagles gave them the lead in the first set, 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 Dignan kill to give them back the lead, 25-22.

Brockport answered with a 4-1 run to tie the set at 26. It proved not enough, however, as 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 New Paltz jumped ahead at 17-14. An eight-unanswered point run, featuring three kills by Van Pelt and two by Greenspan, gave the Hawks the set, 25-14.

With New Paltz holding a  2-0 advantage into the third, 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 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.

After the Hawks tied the first set with SUNY Cortland 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 second-year middle blocker 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.

New Paltz returns to action Friday at the Hawk Center, when they face off against SUNY Oneonta Oct. 5. They will also face SUNYAC opponents Oswego State and SUNY Potsdam on Saturday, Oct. 6.

“It’s always fun playing at home, especially when it’s SUNYAC play,” Dignan said. “It’s always more competitive, and the more pumped we are the better we play.”