The Women’s Volleyball team won the Vassar Tournament title over the weekend after winning all four of their games, improving their season record to 6-2.
The tournament held its challenges for the Hawks. The first match took place on Friday, Sept. 5, when the team faced the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Engineers. New Paltz started slow, hitting -.024 in the first set and .140 in the second. However, the Hawks started to rally back. The third set was extremely close, as the Engineers were able to bring the score to 24-23, but lost the set on an attacking error.
The fourth set went to the Hawks when second-year outside hitter Anna Paulik secured a kill, with an error by MIT,contributing to the win. With all the momentum on their side, the Hawks took the match, 3-2 (21-25, 19-25, 25-23, 25-22, 15-13).
Head Coach Matt Giufre said he was happy with the way the team kept fighting on the court to take the win.
“We changed our offensive system a bit, but mostly just started to play better,” he said. “We were able to take advantage of a couple of mismatches at the net to score points in bunches. I’m really proud of how our team persevered throughout that match and kept competing regardless of the situation.”
Third-year outside hitter Becca Borquist had 17 kills and 19 digs, and fourth-year libero Katy Herbst recorded 33 digs. Herbst was proud of the win, she said, and for the fact that the team kept themselves motivated throughout.
“Once we switched a few players around and finally understood what the other team was doing it was easier to find a solution that would win,” Herbst said.
“One might expect that we had doubts, that we were going to lose once we went down 0-2 in sets but we are a team of fighters and try not to allow thoughts of doubt to show. Staying positive and really coming together as a team is what made that win so spectacular.”
Feeling confident, the Hawks concluded Friday by defeating Ramapo College 3-0 (25-7, 27-25, 25-20). Every athlete on the team chipped in for the Hawks, limiting Ramapo to a .062 hitting percentage.
The Hawks began Saturday by facing Mount Saint Vincent and swiftly defeated them 3-0 (25-12, 25-9, 25-14). The Hawks had 13 service aces and like in the match against Ramapo, every rostered member saw action.
The Hawks finished the day with a win over Vassar College 3-0 (25-18, 25-18, 25-16). New Paltz controlled the game with six blocks and 13 service aces.With that win, the Hawks were crowned winners of the tournament.
Borquist was chosen for the All-Tournament team. She was also named SUNYAC Volleyball Player of the Week on Sept. 2 for the fourth time in her career.
Giufre said Borquist is a great asset to the team.
“Becca is very talented and intelligent in all facets of the game. That, combined with her work ethic in the offseason with our strength coach, has enabled her this year to overpower other teams. [She] has really elevated her play and it’s a joy to watch,” he said.
Herbst was named the tournament MVP, as her play helped propel the team to four straight wins. She was named SUNYAC Volleyball Player of the Week on Sept. 8 due to her play during the Vassar Tournament. This is the first time that Herbst has been given the award in her career.
“Throughout the years, our team has instilled a very competitive drive that starts at practices and then translates into games,” Herbst said. “This is why I believe we played so well, because all the players who step on the court in a single game have this desire to win.”
Hoping to continue with their success, New Paltz hosts the 12th-annual Hawks Invitational from Friday, Sept 12 to Saturday, Sept. 13.