Women’s Volleyball Sets Sights on Playoffs

Photo by Holly Lipka.

The women’s volleyball team took two of three conference matches from Friday, Oct. 7 to Saturday, Oct. 8 at the Hawk Center.

The Hawks beat SUNY Geneseo 3-1 (25-22, 25-20, 25-27, 25-17) and SUNY Plattsburgh 3-1 (27-29, 25-21, 25-22, 25-18). Unfortunately, New Paltz lost to The College at Brockport 3-0 (25-27, 21-25, 18-25). Both teams were undefeated in conference play before the match.

“It was an important weekend,” Hawks head coach Matt Giufre said. “We won two more conference matches, so that was good. I don’t think we performed as well as we’re capable of, and we’re addressing that now. But, I thought that we played three very good teams and to come out with two wins is not an easy thing to do.”

Following their conference matches, the Hawks won two nonconference matches against Nazareth College 3-0 (25-19, 25-20, 25-23) and SUNY Polytechnic Institute 3-0 (25-17, 25-18, 25-16) on Saturday, Oct. 15.

It was announced that the Hawks (14-9 overall) are ranked 10th in the New York Region in the first NCAA Div. III Women’s Volleyball regional rankings, released on Wednesday, Oct. 19.

The Hawks currently sit second in the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) standings with a record of 5-1 in conference play. They have three more SUNYAC matches on their schedule that they will play this upcoming weekend against Buffalo State, SUNY Oneonta and SUNY Cortland.

The team trails Brockport, as the Golden Eagles hold a 6-0 record in SUNYAC play. The only scenario where the Hawks could host the semifinal and final rounds of the SUNYAC Tournament is if they win all three of their matches this weekend and Brockport loses two of their three matches to SUNY Oswego, SUNY Fredonia and SUNY Potsdam. Brockport is the reigning SUNYAC Champion and currently holds an overall record of 24-2.

The quarterfinal round of the tournament will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 1, while the semifinal and final rounds of the tournament will be held on Friday, Nov. 4 and Saturday, Nov. 5, respectively.

“We want to be in a position in the tournament where we can win the thing and we’re slowly putting ourselves there,” Giufre said.

It’s likely that if the Hawks make it to the final round of the tournament, which they have for the past three seasons, that they will face Brockport once more. Giufre explained some things that the team needs to work on in order to get a chance to beat Brockport for the first time since the 2014 SUNYAC Tournament semifinal round.

“Our serving has to be tougher and our offense has to get better,” he said. “We have to get a little bit stronger and not make so many errors offensively. Our defensive positioning has not exactly been where it always needs to be. We’ve addressed that now and will be better at it moving forward.”