GENESEO, N.Y. – SUNY Geneseo junior outside hitter Grace Cergol totaled 15 kills and 11 digs to lead the top-seeded Knights to a 3-0 (25-17, 26-24, 25-21) victory over fourth-seeded Fredonia in the semifinals of the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) Women's Volleyball Tournament, Friday.
Geneseo (22-9) advances to Saturday's championship match against second-seeded New Paltz, which defeated sixth-seeded Oswego, 3-1 (15-25, 25-20, 25-22, 25-10), in the night's other semifinal, also played in Schrader Gymnasium.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- 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.
- Geneseo advanced to the SUNYAC Championship for the first time in 12 seasons and is in the hunt for its first conference championship in program history. The Knights are winless in three finals appearances, falling to Cortland in 1998, 2004 and 2006.
- Geneseo and Fredonia met in the SUNYAC Tournament for the third-consecutive season. The Knights earned a 3-0 road victory in the 2016 quarterfinals before the Blue Devils returned the favor in last season's semifinals.
- Geneseo is 4-3 opposite New Paltz in the SUNYAC Tournament. The teams haven't met in the postseason since 2011 when the Hawks earned a 3-0 quarterfinal victory at home.
- New Paltz advanced to the SUNYAC Championship match for the fifth in the last six years. The Hawks will be in the hunt for their third conference crown to go along with titles in 2009 and 2014.
- Geneseo swept visiting New Paltz, 3-0 (25-14, 25-14, 25-23) two weeks ago in SUNYAC Pool Play action. It was the Hawks' lone conference loss of the fall.