Women’s Volleyball Flies Towards SUNYAC Play

The women's volleyball team's 11-3 record is their best start since 2014. (Photo by Monica D'Ippolito/ Office of Communications and Marketing)

The New Paltz women’s volleyball team went 5-0 this past week including a 4-0 sweep at the Ramapo Tournament in Mahwah, NJ on Friday, Sept. 14 and Saturday, Sept. 15.

The Hawks defeated Penn State Harrisburg, Mount Aloysius College and Ramapo College 3-0, while also knocking off Bard College 3-1 in the tournament. New Paltz also defeated Western Connecticut State Tuesday, Sept. 18, 3-0.

With the Hawks down 7-10 in the first set against Penn State, a kill by third-year outside hitter Madison Van Pelt proved to be the spark the Hawks would need, as they went on to score seven consecutive points, taking control to win the set, 25-18.

Winning set two 25-17, New Paltz finished off Penn State easily in the third set, beating them by a score of 25-13 to complete the match victory, 3-0.

Later that same day, the Hawks took back to the court to face off against Bard College.

The Hawks won the first two sets rather easily by scores of 25-15 and 25-17, respectively. In the third set, New Paltz played from behind the entire time, as a late three-point-streak would prove to not be enough, falling by a final of 23-25.

In the fourth set, the Hawks slammed the door on Bard with a comfortable 25-13 victory, giving them the match win 3-1.

“We are focusing a lot on running a faster offense than we did last year,” said Hawks fourth-year outside hitter Taylor Cimillo. “Other teams aren’t expecting that from us, so it puts them in a stump when they are looking to defend us.”

The following day the Hawks were back at it as they faced off against Mount Aloysius College.

Playing from behind for most of the first set, a kill by Van Pelt evened the score at 17 sparking an impressive seven-point-streak including nine of the last ten points in a 25-18 victory.

The second set against the Mounties was a seesaw battle that included 14 tie scores and no lead larger than four points. 

Back-to-back kills by second-year middle hitter Demi Herasme and Van Pelt put the Hawks up 28-26, giving them the set win.

After a 2-2 start in the third set, the Hawks scored seven unanswered points, carrying the lead all the way to the final score of 25-14 and a 3-0 match victory.

In the final match of the Ramapo Tournament, the Hawks took to the hardwood against Ramapo College.

New Paltz trounced Ramapo in the first set, as they rode seven unanswered points to complete a 25-12 victory.

In a back and forth second set that tallied seven lead changes, New Paltz took advantage of a four-point-streak that consisted of a pair of back-to-back kills by Cimillo and second-year outside hitter Julie Greenspan, respectively, giving themselves a 21-18 lead, and eventual 25-21 victory.

The Hawks wrapped up their match with Ramapo with a 25-21 win in the third set, giving them the match victory (3-0) and four game sweep of the tournament.

The Hawks headed to Danbury, CT on Tuesday, Sept. 18 to face off against Western Connecticut State University.

New Paltz trailed for much of the first set until a eight-point run (seven on Western Connecticut errors) capped off by a Cimillo kill gave the Hawks a 23-18 advantage, eventually winning the set 25-23. 

The Hawks carried their momentum into the second set where they breezed their way to a 25-13 victory.

After nine consecutive Western Connecticut State points put New Paltz behind seven early in the third set, the Hawks tied the set at 22 off a Van Pelt kill. A Dignan kill, bad set and another Van Pelt kill won the set for New Paltz, 25-23.   

“We’ve been working on all parts of our game, but put a special emphasis on our offense before the Ramapo Tournament, which really paid off,” said Hawks head coach Matt Giufre. “We are also serving a lot better than we did earlier this season.” 

Improving to 11-3 on the year, the Hawks get ready for some SUNYAC action as they head to Cortland next week to take on Buffalo State, The College at Brockport and SUNY Cortland.

“We have a veteran team that understands the day-to-day process to be a championship caliber team,” Giufre said. “They come to practice every day ready to work hard and improve.”