Featured News - Current News - Archived News - News Categories

Volleyball's season ends in first round of NCAA Tournament

by Paul Cifonelli - Sports Editor
Tue, Nov 19th 2019 09:00 pm
Seniors Elena Grossman and Lindsey Luce look toward the server before a serve against Wellesley. Brockport lost the match 3-0 and ended its season with a 19—11 record. The loss snapped a 10-match win streak.
Seniors Elena Grossman and Lindsey Luce look toward the server before a serve against Wellesley. Brockport lost the match 3-0 and ended its season with a 19—11 record. The loss snapped a 10-match win streak.

There is a saying that “all good things must come to an end.” For The College at Brockport volleyball team, that is exactly what happened during its first NCAA Tournament game in two years. Wellesley College swept the Golden Eagles to halt their eight-game win streak and end their season.

Brockport had been on a roll entering the NCAA Tournament, with two wins in the SUNYAC Tournament and three more over top nonconference foes at the end of the regular season. The momentum gained came to a screeching halt once Brockport finally matched up with Wellesley.

The Blue dominated the first and third sets by a score of 25-18 in each. Wellesley took the second 25-20, marking the closest set of the contest. The Blue used long runs in each set to pull away from the Golden Eagles and advance to the second round.

The Golden Eagles matched up well with Wellesley on paper but came up short when the two teams played because of one simple thing.

“I believe the only advantage Wellesley had on us is that we didn’t execute our game plan,” sophomore setter Kerri McHale said. “They were a very strong team and we just allowed them too many points before we started to make the changes we needed.”

Sophomore outside hitter Andrea Coyle led Brockport in kills but failed to reach double digits. Her seven were just better than senior outside hitter Lindsey Luce’s six. Senior setter Abbey Manning paced Brockport with 12 assists while McHale, tallied eight. Luce also led the team with four assisted blocks and senior middle blocker Elena Grossman had three. Sophomore defensive specialist Ellen Paddock led the Golden Eagles yet again with 11 digs.

Since the season is now over, Grossman, Luce, Manning and senior defensive specialist Kristen Lansburg have played their final game for the green and gold. Despite losing them, Brockport brings back a majority of the team, including many players who had a big impact this season.

Junior middle blocker Meaghan Mastro, the MVP of the SUNYAC Tournament, projects to lead the offense during her final campaign after leading the team with 290 kills. McHale tallied 600 assists Paddock had 435 digs, with each being a team-high. Both McHale and Paddock will return for the 2020 campaign.

With the majority of the team returning for next season, the future looks bright as Brockport aims to continue its dominance over the SUNYAC.

“The program definitely has a bright future ahead of it,” McHale said. “We are a very young team and having this successful season behind us is great experience to help us get even further in the [NCAA] Tournament. Although we are losing some key starting seniors I believe there is a lot of success headed our way in the next few seasons.”

The returning talent will help, but it is the work ethic and togetherness of Brockport that will continue to carry it to future success.

“I’m looking forward to just being able to do the whole process over again,” Paddock said. “Our group of returners all just love to win and work hard which is something I am so thankful to be around. And I’m excited to see what our incoming freshmen bring to the team because we plan to work to go even further than this year and reach our goal of being in the Sweet 16.”

With the record finalized, Brockport boasted a 19—11 record after starting the season 4—9. This team also laid claim to its fourth SUNYAC Tournament championship in the last five years. The 2020 iteration of the volleyball team will have a lot to live up to, but the experience to do even better.

Photo of the Week

Taken by Vinny Croce:
Staff Photographer

Author List