SUNY New Paltz’s women’s volleyball team has everything to celebrate following a season of triumphs. Boasting an overall 21-8 record for the season, the Hawks have amazed all in their success.
“This has been my favorite season of volleyball I’ve ever been a part of in my career,” said fourth-year co-captain setter Cate DiGiacomo. In the 2023 season, DiGiacomo had 90.5 points and 45 kills. Her highs of the season include five kills against Williams College and 46 assists against SUNY Geneseo. “We have bonded really well and everyone works hard for their teammates and themselves. We’ve faced challenges and grown from them in every way, which we are all very proud of.”
The regular season concluded at the Montclair Tri-Match on Nov. 4, where the Hawks bested hosting Montclair State in four sets, 3-1, before losing to DeSales University, 3-0. The loss against DeSales meant little, though, considering their overall season record at this point was 20-7.
“Coming into this season, we put in so much hard work and those new to our team right away began to do the same,” said fourth-year outside hitter Mackenzie Williams. Williams led the team in points with 358.5 and in kills with 312. “With how much work we have put in, it’s been great to see it show on the court,” she said.
“We have a veteran team and they’ve played like one — consistent, effective and constantly looking for ways to improve,” said coach Matt Giufre. “All of our players impact us. No matter their role, we’re not the same if one is missing.”
Giufre said he is proudest of the hard-working, success-oriented people that he has on the team. He and the rest of the team were all waiting with bated breath to take on No. 3 seed SUNY Geneseo in Cortland on Nov. 10 in their semifinal match.
“It’s a privilege to play in the post-season and we don’t take it lightly,” said Giufre.
The Hawks swept Geneseo in yet another victory on Friday, 3-0, before advancing onto the SUNYAC game the next day. The matches’ scores were 25-18, 25-18 and 25-17. Last year, the Hawks ended their semifinals with a loss against Geneseo, but the sheer talent of the team led them to walk out of the court undefeated this year.
Williams, first-year middle hitter, Lexi Stragalas, and third-year right side, Jamie Albrecht, finished the match with 15, 12 and 10 kills respectively. DiGiacomo had a game-high of 36 assists at Geneseo as well.
“We have all worked so incredibly hard to get to this point and we continue to get better everyday,” said Williams.
At the SUNYACs, the Hawks took on No. 1 seed SUNY Cortland, losing out 3-0. While it was an unfortunate end to the season, it does not erase the decorated accomplishments that the volleyball team had already achieved.
The Hawks still have the NCAA tournament to look forward to, taking place November 16-18.