Today: Apr 21, 2024

Fourth-seeded Owls looking forward to Northeast-10 tournament

Photo Courtesy | Mark Tibor Lauren McVey (left) and Syriah Celestine (right) in action against Adelphi last Tuesday.

Andrew Anastasio – Sports Writer

Finishing their regular season with an overall record of 23-10, the Owls Volleyball will represent the fourth seed in the Northeast-10 Tournament beginning on Nov. 13.

“I think everyone is excited for the upcoming Northeast-10 Tournament,” junior outside hitter Sarah Beres said. “We finished the highest we ever been ranked going into the tournament in the history of the program, so everyone is excited to compete.”

In the regular season, the Owls ranked third in the NE-10 with 1473 kills, and second in digs with 2139. They also led the conference in digs per set, averaging 17.53.

Beres led the team in total kills tallying 377. Senior libero Vanessa Sullivan contributed to the offense accumulating 476 total digs, while senior setter Kimberly Lachowicz ranked first on the team amassing 1171 sets.

Photo Courtesy | Mark Tibor
Lauren McVey (left) and Syriah Celestine (right) in action against Adelphi last Tuesday.

“I think we played well,” junior outside hitter Lauren McVey said. “We finished the highest we ever have in the conference rankings. We beat some quality opponents, but also struggled with some not so great teams. Overall, I feel that we had a pretty decent season.”

Beres, who led the team with 377 kills, said the team’s offensive production was a result of solid teamwork.

“It definitely starts with our passing,” Beres said. “We have great passers in the back row that gets the balls up, and Kim [Lachowicz] is an excellent setter. It really helped us having opportunities off of great passing.”

The Owls in 2012 matched a program best with 13 straight regular season wins. After their milestone accomplishment, the team proceeded to drop four in a row before regaining momentum.

Beres said a hardworking team mentality is what prevented the losing streak from dictating the rest of the Owls regular season.

“I think it starts with the focus and the determination we had going into our practices,” Beres said. “We came in ready to play, and the practices certainly helped us maintain our composure. It showed in the games, and it allowed us to get back to winning.”

The Owls finished the regular season with a 3-0 victory over Mercy College, and a 3-0 defeat to New York Institute of Technology. Despite losing their final game, the team’s fourth place ranking did not falter. They’ll square off against fifth seeded Saint Rose, who the Owls have already beaten 3-2 in the Sept. 20 matchup.

“First off, we’re very excited to be playing Saint Rose,” junior outside hitter Lauren McVey said. “We like playing that team because there’s a little rivalry between us. We enjoy playing them, and we just need to focus on our side of the court in order to pull out a victory. We’re preparing now to speed up our offense and play our own game.”

McVey said she’s confident that this year’s team has enough potential to win it all.

Regardless of already beating the Golden Knights once this season, Beres said the road to the finals will be a difficult task, as the Owls will have to be at their best.

“We need to come into practice focused and ready to go,” Beres said. “If our teamwork persists like it has, I think we will have no problems with whoever we have to go up against.”

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