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Volleyball brings winning attitude to new season

by Carson Werner
Tue, Sep 4th 2018 11:00 pm
Senior defensive specialist, Maddy Taylor (left), prepares to send a ball over the net for the Golden Eagles.
Senior defensive specialist, Maddy Taylor (left), prepares to send a ball over the net for the Golden Eagles.
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The College at Brockport’s women’s volleyball team is coming into this season as arguably one of the best teams on campus. The only other squad able to be compared is the football team, which finished fourth in all of Division III last year. In 2017, the volleyball team beat Fredonia in just three sets to claim the SUNYAC championship for its third year in a row. 

In those three years, head coach Steve Pike has led the group to an outstanding record of 94 — 15. Holding a win percentage of over 86 percent and earning a 33-0 record against SUNYAC teams in the past three years, the volleyball squad has become the “team to beat” in the “competitive” conference.   

Brockport’s women’s volleyball team will begin their season at Scranton, Pennsylvania, facing off against four non-conference opponents in a two-day tournament. The schedule is tightly packed, fitting in 17 games in September and 14 in October.

 However, it will not be until mid-September that the girls finally go head to head with three SUNYAC opponents. Plattsburgh, Fredonia and New Paltz will be waiting for the Golden Eagles at Cortland in hopes that one of the groups can get a win over Brockport, something a SUNY school has not done in a few seasons. 

Out of the 11 conference matchups last year, including playoffs, Brockport won all of them with ease. The team’s most impressive stat came from its set-win-percentage as Brockport had only dropped five of the 38 sets it had against SUNYAC opponents. Considering the way the team has handled conference competition in the past, the Golden Eagles are anxious to fill their schedule with undisputed ‘W’s.

As far as the roster goes, there will be eight returning squad members and nine new members, including six freshmen. Only losing five seniors from last year, the 2018 roster is still crammed with experience. Senior defensive specialist, Maddy Taylor,has been on the squad since her freshman year, also known as the beginning of Brockport’s reign as SUNYAC champions. Other familiar names like Christa Mickol, Lindsey Luce, and Elena Grossman, who are now juniors, will be playing for their third consecutive year on the volleyball team. 

The ladies’ confidence has been on the rise for a few years and the statistics support their reasoning. Sophomore middle blocker, Meaghan Mastro believes the team is fully capable of winning a fourth straight SUNYAC tournament. 

“We are confident because everyone on our team is focused toward this goal and hard working. We all want it and it shows on and off the court,” Mastro said. “Girls are always going in for extra reps aside from practices, and we all are getting stronger in the weight room as well.”

The head coach, Steve Pike, also seems the least bit concerned for this upcoming season as far as competing goes. 

“We return the most experience in our passing and defense for sure,” Pike mentioned. “We have a lot of returners who contributed in several ways to last year’s success so that is great to have back in our program as well.” 

But it’s not just the veteran players who are expected to make an impact this year. Pike is also impressed with what the new additions have done for the team as well. 

“Our new student athletes have already influenced our program in many positive ways,” Pike said. “We reward those who work hard, have a team first attitude and work towards our team goals so the more they can do that the better we will be as a team.”

The 2018 season outlook for the girls is no different than previous years. The Golden Eagles are looking to hopefully have a repeat of last season, or the years prior to that. The team has a solid mix of seasoned veterans and new talent that will combine to bring success throughout the season. Either way, the team plans on trampling its SUNYAC competitors and snatching the championship for a fourth consecutive year.

 

stylus.sports@gmail.com

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