Women’s Volleyball Strikes Back

The Women’s volleyball team now has a .500 record.

They are 5-5 after playing nine nonconference matches within the last two weeks.

On Saturday, Sept. 5, the Hawks opened the Haverford/Swarthmore Tournament with two matches, both resulting in losses.

The Hawks dropped the first match of the day in a 3-0 shutout against Carnegie Mellon University (12-25, 21-25, 22-25).

Hawks third-year middle hitter Morgan Roessler contributed both offensively and defensively with 11 kills and three total blocks, while second-year setter Maddie Zwickl dished out a match-high 26 assists. On defense, third-year libero Rachel Pierson led the Hawks with seven digs.

In the night-cap, the Hawks lost a back-and-forth five set match 3-2 against Cabrini College (25-16, 25-22, 20-25, 17-25, 16-18).

Roessler tallied a career-high 21 kills and hit .429 (21-3-42) and she also finished with five solo blocks. Zwickl dished out 46 assists. Hawks’ third-year libero Meg Kinee recorded a match-high 31 digs and third-year libero Anna Paulik added 27 digs for the Hawks.

Less than 24 hours later, the Hawks played another pair of matches against The City College of New York and Swarthmore College

After being on the losing end of the first two matches of the tournament, the Hawks picked up a 3-0 shutout win against The City College of New York (25-10, 25-10, 25-13).

Along the way, the Hawks led the Beavers in the service ace category (5-2).

First-year right side hitter Christine Donat keyed the Hawk attack with eight kills, while second-year setter Melannie Aquino dished out 27 assists and had two service aces. Pierson paced the back row defensively with 11 digs.

Later in the day, the Hawks fell to Swarthmore College in another 3-0 straight-set sweep (11-25, 17-25, 13-25).

New Paltz was limited to a .065 hitting percentage throughout the match as a whole.

Individually, Roessler recorded a .467 hitting percentage (9-2-15) and led the Hawks with nine kills, bringing her tournament total to 41.

As a result of her strong play throughout the weekend, Zwickl was named to the All-Tournament Team.

The Hawks returned home to play another four matches in a span of two days in the 13th Annual Hawks Invitational at the Hawk Center.

On Friday, Sept. 11, the Hawks defeated The Sage Colleges 3-0 in a straight-set sweep (25-19, 25-22, 27-25).

The Hawks fought off set point five times in the third set, and after the Gators took a 25-24 lead, New Paltz scored three straight points to seal the win.

Right after the win, New Paltz took a 3-1 victory against New York University (23-25, 25-16, 25-17, 26-24) sweeping day one of the Invitational.

The Hawks held the advantage in the hitting percentage (.243 – .076), blocks (7-6) and service ace category (11-9).

Back-and-forth play was a theme of the fourth set until a Violets’ attacking error gave the Hawks the set and match victory.

Hawks’ second-year outside hitter Veronica Matedero hit a .611 (12-1-18) percentage while defending 21 digs to complete the double-double. She also added four assists and two service aces. Fourth-year outside hitter Becca Borquist and Hawks’ third-year right side hitter Katy Braddon reached double figures in kills, registering 18 and 10, respectively. Zwickl kept the offense running with 48 assists and provided 13 digs to complete the double-double, while Borquist also posted a double-double with 10 digs. Kinee reached double figures in digs, too, with 16 on the match.

The next morning, the Hawks picked up another straight-set sweep, this time against Mount Saint Mary College 3-0 (25-13, 25-11, 26-24).

The Hawks finished with a 15-3 edge in service aces, but the Knights led the blocks category, 6-2. After winning three-straight matches, the Hawks dropped a 3-1 decision against Stockton University (25-27, 25-18, 25-27, 17-25).

Despite the loss, Borquist recorded a match-high 17 kills and Zwickl distributed 51 assists.

Matedero was elected as New Paltz’s representative on the All-Tournament Team. New Paltz finished with a record of 3-1 at the event, while Stockton captured the invitational title as the only team to go 4-0 on the weekend.

After dropping three out of four matches in the Haverford/Swarthmore Tournament, Head Coach Matt Giufre said the team did not compete with the aggressiveness needed to beat their top-level opponents, but bounced back in the Hawks Invitational.

“The team plays with a lot of pride and we practice with a lot of pride,” Giufre said. “We looked at where we didn’t compete well enough and vowed to change it. This team has an immense amount of talent and just an outstanding bunch of players. I’m really proud of them for making that change so quickly. It’s exciting now to see what we could really accomplish.”

On Wednesday, Sept. 16, the Hawks defeated Stevens Institute of Technology 3-1.

To prepare for upcoming matches, Roessler said the team is used to playing several matches

in a short period of time.

“It is all worked on in practice,” Roessler said. “Our practices always have high intensity and focus and it trains us for matches no matter how long or short they are. We still keep up the high intensity and focus as well. Since the beginning of the season we have been focusing on being more aggressive and pushing each other hard in practice so we bring that ‘refuse to lose mentality’ into our games.”

The Hawks will continue their road trip Friday, Sept. 18 and Saturday, Sept. 19 in Mahwah, New Jersey as they participate in the Ramapo Tournament playing four nonconference matches in two days.

About Melissa Kramer 157 Articles
Melissa Kramer is a fourth-year journalism major who lives for sports and music.