Over the weekend, the women’s volleyball team hosted the Hawks Invitational, winning two of the four matches they played.
“I think this weekend went pretty well,” Hawks fourth-year outside hitter Morgan Roessler said. “Of course no one wants to come out of a tournament weekend being 2-2, making our overall record 3-5, but we showed what we are capable of on Saturday against Stockton.”
On the first day of competition, the Hawks defeated The Sage Colleges 3-1 (25-14, 25-27, 25-20, 25-13) and lost to Clarkson University 3-0 (21-25, 24-26, 18-25).
The second day saw New Paltz defeat Stockton University 3-0 (25-22, 25-14, 25-22). The Ospreys were 6-0 before the match until the Hawks earned their first three-set win of the season.
“After an ugly loss to Clarkson I thought we bounced back and came in Saturday morning with something to prove against Stockton,” Hawks head coach Matt Giufre said. “I think that might have been the best match we played this year, and hopefully we can string more matches like that together.”
Fourth-year outside hitter Anna Paulik was also very impressed with her team’s performance.
“Being able to hold Stockton to a 3-0 win was pretty impressive to me,” she said. “They have a great team but we came out on fire and didn’t lose that spark for three straight sets.”
The team then lost to New York University 3-1 (25-27, 21-25, 25-16, 13-25).
Despite the loss, the Hawks fought very hard in the first two sets of the match. New Paltz had a chance to win the first set as they led 25-24, but a kill, an attack error and a service ace led to a 1-0 lead for the Violets. The second set saw the two teams tied at 19-all, but NYU finished on a 6-2 run to capture the set. Both of these sets were very close and either one of them could have gone in favor of New Paltz.
“It seems like we’re playing well, and then we mentally make a mistake in positioning or covering a responsibility,” Giufre said. “So we give up an easy point and then put pressure on ourselves to fix it and then we give up a couple more. Then it kind of snowballs late in the game, so we have to do a better job of staying mentally focused on what our responsibility is.”
Paulik earned her 1,000th career dig against NYU, as she collected 13 in the match, putting her at 1,002 career digs, which is ranked 16th in program history. Paulik understands that there are still some things the team has to work on.
“Overall I think our team had some high moments and low points during the weekend,” she said. “There is a ton of talent on our team but it was evident that there is still work to be done.”
On Wednesday, Sept. 14 the Hawks fell 3-0 (27-29, 14-25, 16-25) against Stevens Institute of Technology.
The Hawks (3-6) will next compete in the Roadrunner Invitational from Friday, Sept. 16 to Saturday, Sept. 17. This will be the final tune-up before the team starts State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) play.
“Looking at some results this year, SUNYAC play is going to be tough,” Giufre said. “A lot of teams are pretty equal and pretty evenly matched, including us. That’s what it is going to boil down to, who can make a couple of plays at the end of the game.”
Giufre added that he expects more consistency from his team this weekend, and hopes that they will continue to be consistent once conference play starts up.
The key for New Paltz is to hold onto the leads that they are very capable of acquiring. Whether it be in individual sets or in matches in general, the Hawks can have a successful season so long as they can finish what they started.
“We need to work on finishing games,” Roessler said. “There have been plenty of times last weekend when we played in Chicago where we were up by three or four points late in the match around 21 or 22, and the other team would come back to win that game. We just need to stop teams from going on runs and finish the game quicker when we are winning.”