MORRISVILLE, N.Y. – The Morrisville State Volleyball program took to the court for the first time in 2018 on Friday night, picking up a key non-conference victory in the opening match of their home tournament. The Mustangs overcame a close first set loss to defeat the Hartwick College Hawks 3-1.
The first set was a back and forth affair, as the Mustangs struggled to overcome eight hitting errors despite putting away 19 kills. The Hawks took advantage of the Morrisville errors, pulling out the 27-25 win.
The Mustangs cleaned up their play in the second, posting a 25-13 win. Along the way, the veteran squad notched 10 kills while just committing two errors. In addition, Morrisville stepped up their defense, forcing the Hawks to commit 11 attack errors, while only allowing seven kills in the set.
The Mustangs started slow in the third, finding themselves in a 4-0 hole. However, a service ace by libero, Sam Wolf (Liverpool, N.Y.) pulled Morrisville to 4-2. From there, the hosts clawed their way back. Amelia Baratier (Liverpool, N.Y.) delivered a key kill and then followed that point up with an ace to bring the Mustangs within one.
Morrisville and Hartwick continued to trade points until a string of kills by Kim Dunkleman (Williamsville, N.Y.), Megyan Merrill (Millport, N.Y.), and Kirsten Florio (Wellsboro, Pa.) gave the Mustangs a 7 point advantage. The Mustangs never looked back from there, closing out the third set with a 25-16 win.
The Hawks did not go quietly in the fourth, playing Morrisville close through the first half of the set. Florio added a key kill to put the Mustangs up 15-12, but it was a block assist and two kills from Margaret Kianka (Marcellus, N.Y.) that propelled Morrisville to the convincing 25-15 set win and the 3-1 match win.
Offensively, Merrill paced the Mustangs, recording 23 kills. Dunkleman posted 30 assists, while Helena Hanes (Brockport, Pa.) added seven kills and 18 assists. Defensively, the Mustangs asserted themselves at the net, posting 16 total blocks, six of which came from Florio.
Morrisville will return to action on Saturday for two more matches in their opening weekend tournament. The Mustangs will take on the Bengals from Buffalo State at 1 PM, before squaring off with the Oswego State Lakers at 3 PM.
Morrisville State College's curricula are enriched with applied learning and pave the way for opportunity at both the Morrisville and Norwich campuses. An action-oriented, interactive learning lab, the college is a national leader in technology and has been lauded for its exemplary, innovative and effective community service programs.
The college was ranked among the Best Regional Colleges in the North by U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges 2018 issue and was also recognized in the Top Public Schools, Regional Colleges North in the 2018 Best Colleges rankings. For more information about Morrisville State College, visit www.morrisville.edu.