NEW PALTZ, NY — This fall the SUNY New Paltz womenýs volleyball team enters its fourth season under head coach Matt Giufre. In 2004 the Hawks earned eight All-State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) selections and placed second in the SUNYAC East with a 27-11 record, 7-3 in the conference. The 27 victories equaled the highest win total for the womenýs volleyball team since 1999 and led to their placement has high as 6th on the New York State Womenýs Collegiate Athletic Association (NYSWCAA) poll.
The Hawks look to build on last yearýs success. The teamýs goals include winning the SUNYAC tournament, earning one of the top four seeds and a first round bye for the NYSWCAA tournament, and maintaining a 3.3 accumulative team grade point average. Coach Giufre believes that these goals are very attainable, especially with the added talent and depth in this yearýs in coming class. The Hawks will look to their youth to fill in important roles, which will allow this the team to remain fresh throughout tournaments and the season as a whole.
While the Hawks return a majority of their roster from 2004; including senior outside hitter Andrea Kaiser (Blue Point, NY), senior outside hitter Christina Mazurowski (Tonawanda, NY), senior outside hitter Christina Butcher (North Salem, NY) and junior outside hitter Kim Clouston (Baldwinsville, NY), they will miss strong defensive play and on-court game experience that was previously provided by Lisa Mason (Camillus, NY) and Kelly Long (Endwell, NY), both of whom graduated last year. Mason has since joined Coach Giufreýs staff and will help teach the newcomers in her first year as an assistant coach. Coach Giufre feels that the impact of his newcomers is already being felt in preseason practice sessions. He claims that so far practice is much more competitive than in past years and that he has already seen great signs from freshmen Amanda Brown (Glens Falls, NY) and Nicole Mercadante (Baldwinsville, NY).
The Hawks will open their 2005 season at the Red Dragon Classic in Cortland, NY this Friday, September 2.