GENESEO, N.Y. - Geneseo (22-9) and New Paltz (25-7) will play for the 2018 State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) women's volleyball championship crown, Saturday at 4 p.m in Geneseo.
New Paltz topped Oswego (19-14), 3-1, Friday in the first semifinal of the night while tournament host Geneseo defeated Fredonia (22-10), 3-0.
The Hawks seek to win their third SUNYAC title and first since 2014. The Knights will look to capture their first-ever women's volleyball conference crown.
The SUNYAC Elite 20, an award modeled after the NCAA ELITE 90 program, recognizes the true essence of the student-athlete by honoring the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the conference championship level in his or her sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers. This year's honoree was recognized tonight prior to the first semifinal match. The 2018 women's volleyball Elite 20 is Oswego's Lauren Fie from Corning, N.Y. who holds a 3.95.
MORE DETAILS - New Paltz vs. Oswego
The Lakers established their capability early in the match, taking a 4-2 lead in the first set. Three attack errors by Oswego , topped off by a service ace from sophomore libero Oliva D'Antonio, however, allowed the Hawks to gain possession of the lead at 7-4.
Extending the advantage to 10-5, a timeout by the Lakers was the spark they needed to take back the set. Right out of the stoppage of play, Oswego went on a 6-1 run to tie the set at 11.
When the Hawks answered with three-unanswered points to take the lead back, 14-11, the Lakers offensive effort never let up. They scored 10-unanswered points, jumping in front 21-14, and taking full momentum in the set.
A kill by junior outside hitter Madison Van Pelt stopped the bleeding at 21-15, but it was not enough, as Oswego took a 1-0 advantage, 25-15.
The second started off all Lakers again, as they took a 5-2 lead in the beginning of the set. Much like in the first, however, New Paltz came back, tying the set at six off a sophomore outside hitter Julie Greenspan kill.
Tied at seven, three errors by Oswego State gave the Hawks the lead, 10-7, and forced the Lakers to call a timeout. It was not the answer they desperately needed, as SUNY New Paltz came out with a 8-3 run to extend the lead, 18-10.
Four-unanswered points by Oswego to jump back in the set at 18-14 forced coach Giufre to call a timeout. His message was heard, as the Hawks offense went on a 6-3 run to force checkmate, at 24-17. Three more unanswered points by the Lakers was not enough, as New Paltz tied the match at one, 25-20.
The third was tight from the beginning, as both teams never fell behind by more than three within the set. With Oswego up 12-9, the Hawks called a timeout and a 6-2 run ensued, leading to a 15-14 advantage.
A Lakers timeout allowed them to grab the lead back at 18-17, but a kill by senior outside hitter Taylor Cimillo, an attack error and a kill by junior middle hitter Kerri Neville allowed SUNY New Paltz to jump out, 20-18, and force Oswego's last timeout.
The set tied at 20, the Hawks showed they would not be denied, going on the 5-2 run they needed to take set, 25-22, and the lead in the match, 2-1.
New Paltz stayed aggressive into the fourth, taking a 5-0 lead to start the set. With the Hawks up 13-7 after a Lakers' timeout, a kill by Cimillo started a 12-3 run SUNY New Paltz needed once again, asserting its dominance to take the set, 25-10, and the match, 3-1.
MORE DETAILS - Geneseo vs. Fredonia
- Geneseo broke open a close first set with an 8-1 run to take a 16-10 lead on the serve of sophomore outside hitter Alexandra Frank. The Knights extended their lead to 24-12 en route to the opening victory.
- Neither team led by more than two points in the second period until Fredonia put together a 9-2 run to build a 21-15 edge. However, the Knights pieced together an 8-2 run, including five-straight points that knotted the score, 23-23. The Blue Devils had a match point, 24-23, but consecutive kills by sophomore middle blocker Bridget Lougen and Cergol followed by a Frank service ace closed the comeback win.
- Geneseo took an early 10-6 lead in the third set, but Fredonia battled its way back to knot the score, 19-19. The Knights scored six of the final eight points to seal the victory.