Volleyball bounces back at RIT Tourney


Rachelle Kelchlin leads the Bengals with 211 digs.

Louie DiBiase, Reporter

Finding ways to correct mistakes and learn from losses is key to a successful season. The Buffalo State women’s volleyball team did a good job of rebounding after a winless weekend at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) tournament this past weekend. They showed poise, teamwork, and an ability to not lose who they are as a team even after going winless the previous week.

Heading into Friday, the Bengals held a 5-4 record after starting the season off 5-0. Hoping to prove they learned some valuable lessons in the previous week’s four game losing streak, the Bengals started off hot, taking all three sets against Alfred University.

Alfred had a record of 1-8 heading into the game. Frankly, it was a game the Bengals should have won. No game, however, is a sure thing.

The Bengals got a big boost from consistent playmakers Hannah Renaldo and Kayla Pyc. The two combined for 15 kills, three blocks and an assist in the match. Renaldo preached consistency as the key to success for the Bengals.

“We have to play consistent to win every game,” she said. “Each week is only going to get harder, so we need to keep improving as we move forward.”

The second match of Friday’s doubleheader featured a Nazareth College team with a similar record to the Bengals. The Bengals kept it close in three sets, losing two by a four-point margin.

Capping off Friday’s matchups, the Bengals continued to get excellent play from Rachelle Kelchlin. The defensive specialist finished the night with 29 digs and four assists. Another excellent performance came from setter Jennifer Cecchhettini, who had 32 assists on Friday.

The first match of Saturday was a game against a Mount Saint Mercy College (MSMC) team that did not tally a win in their first twelve games. Cecchettini and the Bengals handled MSMC in three sets to improve to 7-5.

Against an 8-4 RIT team however, the Bengals again fell in three sets.

Cecchettini was happy with the bounce back in the tournament, but knows the Bengals have to find consistent play against the more competitive opponents.

“We made some progress, but there are still a lot of things we need to work on in practice this week before the first SUNYAC tournament this coming weekend,” she said.

Coach Maria DePeters felt as though her team didn’t capitalize on every opportunity.

“We made improvements with running a more balanced offense, but we still have a lot more to work on,” she said. “If our serve receive was more consistent then I think we could have come out undefeated.”

Adjusting and learning from losses is a big key to any team’s success. The Bengals were able to take their troubles from last week and turn them into positives at RIT. Getting contributions from the entire roster is key for the Bengals heading into the SUNYAC matches this weekend in Buffalo.

At 7-6, the Bengals are off to a good start to the 2015 season, but there is still a lot of work to be done. But, assistant coach Leanne Maloney feels good about the development of the team.

“Our team has a lot of heart and they work their butts off,” she said. “Heading into our first weekend of SUNYAC pool play, we are ready to compete.”