League Playoff Hopes In Sight as Women’s Volleyball Prepares for 2003 Season

NEW PALTZ, NY — The SUNY New Paltz Hawks women’s volleyball team will aim for a spot in the 2003 State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) Tournament. In 2002, the Hawks finished fourth in the Eastern Division of the conference and were two games shy of qualifying for the league’s post-season tournament. After a slow start to begin the season, New Paltz reeled off 12 wins in their last 17 matches to end the season with an overall mark of 14-24 and a 5-5 record in SUNYAC play.

Despite the loss of First Team All-SUNYAC selection and Eastern Division Co-Player of the Year Jackie Goldstein, second year Head Coach Matt Giufre will mix seven returners with a talented group of first year players. The lone senior is setter Jennifer Hollis (Livingston, NJ), a 2002 SUNYAC East Division Honorable Mention, who led the team with 634 set assists (5.20 ast/game), 57 service aces, and a .347 hitting percentage.

Hollis will set up a strong group of hitters who will play an even more prominent role after having played a season in Giufre’s system. The team’s returning outside hitters are junior Christina Butcher (North Salem, NY) and sophomores Andrea Kaiser (Blue Point, NY) and Kelly Long (Endwell, NY). In the middle, 6-1 sophomore Christina Mazurowski (Tonawanda, NY) returns after a strong freshman campaign.

Butcher was a gritty player who notched 68 kills and 250 digs. Kaiser was a strong all around player as a rookie with 139 kills, 301 digs, and 30 service aces. Long was a solid role player for the Hawks who recorded 202 digs and 27 service aces.

Mazurowski was a mainstay in the Hawks’ lineup last season and led the team with 126 games played, 44 solo blocks, and 103 total blocks. She was also second with 198 kills (1.57 kpg).

The Hawks two defensive specialists are juniors Denee Miggins (Kingston, NY) and Lisa Mason (Camillus, NY). Miggins topped the team with 322 digs (3.22 digs/game) while collecting 10 digs and two service aces. Mason amassed 186 digs and eight kills.

Giufre enjoyed a strong year on the recruiting trail in his first season as a head coach. The former Cortland assistant brought in seven new faces that figure to play a prominent role this season. This year’s incoming class features middle hitters Kate Roche (Patchogue, NY), Carrie Briscoe (Stuyvesant, NY) and Emily Hunt (Fort Edward, NY), setter Jen Hembury (Montgomery, NY), and outside hitters Shannon Corrigan (Hicksville, NY), Kendra Korkus (Syracuse, NY) and Franchesca Rodriguez-Ruiz (Schenectady, NY)

The Hawks will be well traveled with only four home dates this fall. They open the season on Saturday, August 30 at the Skidmore Invitational. Their first home match is at the New Paltz Invitational on Friday, September 19th.