The Women’s volleyball team took two of three matches in State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) Pool Play over the weekend at the Hawk Center.
The Hawks finished the season with an 8-1 record in conference play and have locked up the No. 2 seed in the SUNYAC Tournament.
The first match took place on Friday, Oct. 23, where the Hawks defeated SUNY Cortland by a score of 3-1 (21-25, 25-16, 25-14, 25-22).
New Paltz held the advantage in hitting percentage (.231-.139), blocks (8-7) and service aces (10-6).
Third-year defensive specialist Anna Paulik led the Hawks with 11 kills and 12 digs, posting her second double-double of the season. Second-year setter Maddie Zwickl led the Hawks with 39 assists and notched three service aces. Hawks fourth-year outside hitter Becca Borquist and third-year right side hitter Katy Braddon contributed offensively as well, posting 10 kills each.
The Hawks swept their first match the next day against SUNY Oneonta 3-0 (25-17, 25-12, 25-16).
New Paltz led the match with a .193 (32-16-83) hitting percentage as opposed to Oneonta’s -.056 (19-24-89). The Hawks also held a 7-2 advantage in service aces and both teams were tied in the blocks category at 7-7.
Paulik led the Hawk offense again with eight kills and also posted nine digs. Borquist and Hawks third-year middle hitter Morgan Roessler were right behind Paulik with seven kills each. Roessler also held down the defense with four blocks (one solo, three assists), while third-year libero Rachel Pierson also held down the defense with 10 digs. Zwickl notched a match-high 26 assists.
“All conference wins are big,” Hawks Head Coach Matt Giufre said. “You always want to put yourself in the best position and seed possible to win the tournament.”
The Hawks finished SUNYAC Pool Play with a loss to The College at Brockport, 3-2 (25-22, 28-26, 23-25, 20-25, 12-15). The two teams entered the match with an undefeated record in conference play for the season. With the win, Brockport clinched the No. 1 seed in the SUNYAC Tournament and will host the tournament from Saturday, Nov. 7 to Sunday, Nov. 8.
Had the Hawks won, they would have hosted the SUNYAC Tournament for the third-straight season. This was the Hawks’ first loss in conference play since they lost to Buffalo State in the final round of the 2013 SUNYAC Tournament. It was their first regular-season loss in conference play since October 2012.
After taking the first two sets, the Hawks had an opportunity to sweep the Golden Eagles as they held a 22-21 advantage in the third set. Brockport took four of the last five points to force a fourth set. Although the Hawks played well in the last two sets, they were unable to win either and allowed the Golden Eagles to win in five sets.
“The loss against Brockport was hard because we were so close to winning and of course it cost us the chance to host SUNYACs,” Hawks third-year libero Meg Kinee said. “I think the bigger picture of the loss is that we had a very strong first two sets, but it is possible to come back and win a match even when you go down 0-2.”
Roessler was shined offensively for the Hawks in a losing effort, as she posted a .553 (21-0-38) hitting percentage with a career-high 21 kills. Braddon also posted double-digits with 11 kills. Pierson, Paulik, and Borquist notched double figures in digs with 21, 15, and 14, respectively. Zwickl tallied 52 assists in the loss, the second most she has tallied in a match this season.
On Wednesday, Oct. 28 the Hawks shutout Vassar College 3-0 (25-18, 25-19, 25-23) in a straight-set sweep.
The Hawks pieced together a .213 hitting percentage for the match and led in service aces (6-0) and total team blocks (8-3) over the Brewers. Individually, Pierson defended a team-high 22 digs.
The Hawks, who have an overall record of 19-9 will next travel to Saratoga Springs, New York to compete in the Skidmore Tournament. The team will play three nonconference matches in a 48-hour span to finish off their regular season.