Bengals start playoff push with home sweep

Ryan Esguerra, Reporter

Each and every season, every team, regardless of the sport, has to face some sort of adversity. What separates the good teams from the average teams are their ability to handle adversity and get the job done when necessary.

The Buffalo State women’s volleyball team answered the bell this past weekend with a series of victories in which they did not drop one set. The Bengals are 2-4 in SUNYAC conference play, but this weekend’s matchups were a bright spot in an up-and-down season.

The Bengals breezed through opponents St. John Fisher and Hilbert in a tri-tournament Saturday without dropping one set, a pair of performances that head coach Maria DePeters hopes will give the Bengals momentum with do-or-die conference matchups looming.

“Every win is important, you have to treat every game like it is the last one you are going to play,” DePeters said. “It was really nice to go home and play in front of the fans and it was good for the girls to get some support, definitely helped them.”

The Saturday morning match saw the Bengals completely dominate Hilbert from the opening set. They defeated Hilbert 25-15, 25-11 and 25-10, respectively. The team compiled a total of 40 kills and seven blocks in three sets, led by Junior Kayla Pyc who posted 12 kills. Senior Jessica Crooks also chipped in with 10 kills, three digs and three assists.

In the afternoon match the Bengals picked right up where they left off, dropping St. John Fisher in three sets. Fisher fought back early on and the Bengals bent but didn’t break, taking it in three sets, 25-21, 25-14 and 25-16, respectively.

Senior Sam Parente led the offensive charge in the second game, registering 15 kills, while Crooks added 10 kills of her own. Jennifer Cecchettini continued leading the Bengals in assists, posting 26.

“This game was a huge confidence booster for us with the last round of pool play,” Sam Parente said of her team’s weekend sweep. “It’s all coming down to this, if we lose one more time there is no playoffs this year.”

This weekend also marked the Bengals senior appreciation day, where it said goodbye to three seniors; Sam Parente, Jessica Crooks and Allie Opera, who all played their final home game as Buffalo State Bengals over the weekend.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better senior day, I realized how many great people I have in my life who have supported me through the years,” said graduating senior Allie Opera. “My coaches and teammates are a huge reason why it’s going to be so hard to leave and I am so happy I had the chance to play with them all.”

The Bengals have their next match on Tuesday, Oct.21 against Nazareth College in Rochester, before they make the trip to their final SUNYAC pool play tournament in Plattsburgh. The Bengals currently sit in 8th place in the SUNYAC standings. To make the playoffs the Bengals have to win their remaining three SUNYAC matches, so essentially, their playoffs start now.

“Its all about heart out there, the team with the most heart will win the match,” DePeters said. “You have to go out there and want to play the best because you believe that you are the best.”