Varying results bury Volleyball

Senior middle hitter Kayla Pyc leads the Bengals with 225 kills this season.

Dave DeLuca/The Record

Senior middle hitter Kayla Pyc leads the Bengals with 225 kills this season.

Louie DiBiase, Reporter

A season of high hopes and expectations has come to an end for the Buffalo State volleyball team. After starting off the season 5-0, the Bengals couldn’t maintain the consistency they hoped for throughout the season and will miss the playoffs.

They suffered a six-game losing streak to end SUNYAC play and finish that slate with a 2-7 record.

Buffalo State will wrap up the season next week in the Buffalo State Bengal Challenge, taking on St. Fisher, St. Lawrence, and Allegheny University.

With three matches this past weekend, the Bengals were fighting to stay alive in the playoff hunt. They needed to jump up two spots to make the playoffs.

Unfortunately, the weekend resulted in three losses as the Bengals fell to Brockport on Friday, 3-0, and on Saturday fell to both Oneonta and Cortland, 3-1 and 3-0.

Against Brockport, the Bengals were led by Kayla Pyc who finished the match with 7 kills and 2 blocks. Pyc has been a consistent scoring leader this season, especially over the past two weeks while the Bengals have been without team captain Hannah Renaldo.

Renaldo led the team in kills throughout the season and her absence the past two weeks was a big blow to the team and their playoff hopes.

Brockport took all three sets and posted 18 more kills than Buffalo State. The Bengals had 17 errors and struggled to gain any sort of momentum throughout the match. Jennifer Cecchettini accounted for 13 of the Bengals’ 21 assists.

On Saturday, Buffalo State took on two opponents with winning records in Oneonta and Cortland.

Against Oneonta, the Bengals showed resiliency, losing the first set by only two points and taking the second set. In the final two sets, however, Buffalo State couldn’t close out the match, losing both by a margin of five and four. Oneonta had nine blocks to Buffalo State’s three.

Taking on Cortland in the third match of the weekend, the Bengals struggled with 24 errors and a .060 hitting percentage.

Cortland took the match in three sets, finishing with an impressive .213 hitting percentage and 38 kills.

Cortland improved to 16-15 on the season while the Bengals fell to 10-16.

Buffalo State battled hard every week in many close matches, however could not find the consistency that Coach Maria DePeters called for throughout the year. A poor SUNYAC record dashed the team’s playoff hopes.

DePeters noted that the Bengals didn’t correct the mistakes that haunted the team throughout the season, but understood the disadvantage of playing without two the team’s top players.

“We did not improve how we needed to as the season went on,” DePeters said. “It also hurt that we were down two of our starting offensive players to injuries.”

There were still many positives to take away.

“Injuries and inconsistencies hurt us most this season,” assistant coach Leanne Maloney said. “The girls had a lot of heart, but couldn’t execute 100 percent of the time.

“There really isn’t a bad team in our conference. When I played, you knew you could roll over a little less than half of the teams. Anybody in this sport can take the title. It just depends on who shows up that day with enough intensity, consistency and accuracy to win.”

For the Bengals, a 10-16 record isn’t exactly what the team was hoping for. However, with a solid foundation and a lot of talent returning next season, there’s a lot of opportunity for improvement next season.

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