After winning three out of four nonconference matches in under a day at the Roadrunner Invitational (hosted by Ramapo College), the Hawks improved their record to 8-6 in Mahwah, New Jersey.
On Friday, Sept. 18, the Hawks fell to Ithaca College 3-2 (23-25, 25-19, 23-25, 25-17, 13-15).
Despite the loss, New Paltz finished with a .313-to-.251 edge in hitting percentage, an 11-9 cushion in service aces and a 6-1 margin in total team blocks.
Hawks second-year setter Maddie Zwickl tied her career-high in assists with 59 and along with Hawks third-year libero Rachel Pierson landed three service aces. Fourth-year outside hitter Becca Borquist and Zwickl finished with double-doubles, as the two tallied 15 and 10 digs, each. Pierson’s 16 digs served as the team-high. Third-year middle hitter Morgan Roessler chipped in with four total blocks (two solos, two assists).
Borquist, Roessler and third-year right side hitter Katy Braddon notched 23, 17 and 16 kills, respectively.
During the nightcap, the Hawks defeated host Ramapo College 3-1 (25-23, 17-25, 25-17, 25-22).
Borquist led New Paltz with 15 kills and 13 digs, while Roessler also reached double figures in kills with 11. Zwickl distributed 34 assists, while Pierson racked up 19 digs to pace the back row defensively.
The next day, the Hawks were victorious in a pair of straight-set sweeps — first against the University of Scranton 3-0 (25-16, 25-23, 25-23).
Borquist hit for a match-high 18 kills and added 10 digs to complete the double-double.
Pierson recorded a match-high 12 digs. Zwickl dished out a match-high 32 assists for the Hawks.
Defensively, Roessler was involved with all six New Paltz blocks, posting one solo block and five block assists.
After the conclusion of their match against the University of Scranton, the Hawks were straight-set winners against St. Joseph’s (LI) College 3-0 (25-5, 26-24, 25-23).
The Hawks hit .368 (46-11-95) for the match as they shutout the Eagles 7-0 in service aces. Individually, Borquist hit for a .563 percentage and racked up 10 kills. Braddon matched Borquist in the kills category. Pierson contributed a match-high in digs (17) for the second-straight match.
Hawks Head Coach Matt Giufre said he was really pleased with how the team played this weekend, especially with the win against Ramapo College after the five-set loss against Ithaca.
“I was really pleased with how we bounced back against Ramapo,” Giufre said “We were playing until almost 11 p.m. that night and to stay focused playing back-to-back like that after a tough loss, I was really proud of how we continued to compete and focus and block out how late it was and just keep playing hard. I was really pleased with much of the way we played this weekend.”
The Hawks next begin State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) Pool Play at Buffalo State, playing three matches in less than 24 hours. On Friday, Sept. 25, the Hawks will face SUNY Fredonia — a rematch of last season’s conference championship in which New Paltz earned the win. The following day, they will take on SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Geneseo.
Braddon said the Hawks will look to regain their SUNYAC Championship Title this season and will take Pool Play one match at a time.
“Our determination and drive to defend our championship is very strong and I see this eagerness as a great opportunity for our team to be successful this weekend,” Braddon said. “I am excited to play and confident in my team’s capabilities mentally and physically to compete and win, without ever looking past our competition.”