NEW PALTZ/GENESEO N.Y.- The New Paltz Hawks and Geneseo Knights found themselves victoriues in their first round matchups, defeating Oneonta and Cortland, respectively. New Paltz cruised to a 3-1 victory in their home gym, while Geneseo swept Cortland 3-0 in Geneseo.
With the help of a raucous crowd, New Paltz was able to take the first two sets from Oneonta. In the first set, the Hawks went up 14-9 and never looked back. Oneonta ended the set with two attack errors and fell 25-14. New Paltz carried the momentum into the second set. Although it was tied 11-11, the Hawks gradually pulled away, ultimately winning 25-16 on a service ace from Maddie Zwickl.
The momentum shifted in the third set, however. Oneonta came back with a vengeance, going up 14-9 at a crucial point in the match. The two teams sparred back-and-forth, eventually knotting the game at 19. Over the next ten minutes, both teams went on short runs, unable to top one another. Finally, with the score 27-26, Oneonta's Melissa Voyer slammed home the decisive point, giving the Red Dragons a 28-26 victory.
With the crowd rallying behind them again, New Paltz came out of the gates firing. After going up 14-3, the Hawks never looked back. Despite a last-gasp rally by Oneonta, New Paltz was able to escape with a 25-13 win in the set, taking the match 3-1.
Taylor Cimillo led the Hawks charge with 14 kills, while Maddie Van Pelt added 11 of her own. Veronica Matedero chipped in 10 digs for the Hawks.
Oneonta's Melissa Voyer had 10 kills for the Red Dragons while Lindsay Pelaccio contributed 14 digs.
The three seed Geneseo held serve against the six seed Cortland. The Knights won 3 sets to 0 to advance to the SUNYAC semifinals on Friday. The Knights opened up winning four of the first five points in the first set and never turned back as Geneseo won the first set 25-19. In the second set, Cortland won the first point of the set and the Knights went on to win the next six points which lead to a comfortable set win of 25-15. The third set started with the Red Dragons up 11 to 7 looking to force a fourth set but Geneseo went on to tie the set at 14. After tying the set the Knights went on to only losses two more points the rest of the set. The Knight won the third set 25-16.
The knight where lead by Grace Cergol (East Northport N.Y.) who had 14 kills, 2 aces, and 11 digs. Helping out in the win was the junior Emily Ast (Lancaster N.Y.) who led the team in assist with 34 also adding 1 block and 1 ace. Abby May (Baldwinsville N.Y.) add 12 kills and 1 block in the win for the Knights.
The Red Dragons were led by Courtney Silberer (Centereach N.Y.) who had 6 kills and 1 ace. Gabby Amelio (Pine Bush N.Y.) add 3 aces, 17 assists, and 11 digs for the Red Dragons in a losing effort.
Both teams will be in action starting Friday in Brockport for the conference semifinals and finals. LIVE BRACKET