This past weekend, the women’s volleyball team participated in State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) pool play for the first time this season in Plattsburgh, New York.
The Hawks went 2-1, earning wins against Potsdam and Plattsburgh, while dropping the first match of the weekend against SUNY Geneseo. Head coach Matt Giufre liked the way the team responded after the loss against Geneseo.
“Our competition and effort level was outstanding throughout the weekend,” Giufre said. “We had too many unforced errors against Geneseo which led to the defeat, but the girls did a great job of refocusing for the next two matches.”
In the second match of the weekend against Potsdam on Saturday, Sept. 23, the Hawks won 3-0 (25-7, 25-20, 25-16). Third-year outside hitter Taylor Cimillo led the team in kills, aces and digs with 11, three and 14 respectively. Fourth-year setter Maddie Zwickl led the charge in assists with 29.
“The first SUNYAC weekend is always very exciting, especially for the younger teammates since they have never been to one,” Zwickl said. “I’m proud of how much our team is stepping up, and how they’ve represented themselves when being dealt with a high pressure situation. Volleyball is a game of mistakes, and if we take care of the controllables, we truly can succeed.”
In the third match against Plattsburgh, the Hawks were victorious 3-1 (25-22, 23-25, 25-18, 25-16). First-year middle hitter Demi Herasme led the team with 17 kills, while fourth-year libero Veronica Matadero led the team with two aces and 21 digs.
While rostering mostly first and second-year players, it has been a season of transition for the team. Giufre opined that there are nine new players on the team this season.
“The new players have started to get comfortable with the roles as the season has progressed,” Giufre said.
He pointed out how the only two seniors on the team in Zwickl and Matadero have been key leaders to the younger players on the team.
“Maddie (Zwickl) and Veronica (Matadero) have been essential to the younger players,” Giufre said. “Their leadership has been very impactful on the whole team.”
Zwickl has embraced the role of being a senior and team leader for the Hawks this season.
“I am thankful that Veronica and I are together when it comes to being seniors on this team. Since being together for so long we are able to communicate and have similar views on what we want and expect out of our team,” Zwickl said. “How I go about approaching being a leader is being direct and communicating as much as I can to the rest of the team.”
The latest matchup for the Hawks was a victory in a home match against Western Connecticut State on Wednesday Sept. 27 3-0 (25-15, 25-23, 25-19). Zwickl lead the team in assists with 28, Nicole Fellone led the team with 12 digs and Cimillo led the team with three blocks.
Up next for the Hawks is a home match against Williams College on Tuesday, Oct. 2. Giufre views it as an opportunity to prepare for the upcoming conference play.
“With these nonconference matchups, it gives us a chance to refine our play and build some confidence before our big conference matches,” he said.