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National Poll Opposition Volleyball Teams Help Groom Young Cougar Squad

National Poll Opposition Volleyball Teams Help Groom Young Cougar Squad

The Genesee Community College volleyball team is gaining experience quickly in the young season in National Junior Collegiate Athletic Association play. Whether in pod play or single match competition, the upstart Cougars are learning that some of the best competition in the country is in their own backyard.

The Cougars traveled to one of those highly-touted teams that have appeared in the national polls the last few weeks – Monroe Community College. The now 12-1 Tribunes beat Genesee in straight sets 25-20, 25-9, and 25-19, respectively.

That brought about Genesee's fourth loss of the season to a collective group that prior to Thursday was sporting a 40-1 record. The Cougars' four season losses to Monroe (now 12-1), Erie (10-0), Jamestown (9-0) and Onondaga (10-0) represent a high demographic of locally-talented teams in Western and Central New York.

Three of those four are currently ranked or are receiving votes in the NJCAA D-III National Poll. Perhaps they'd all have perfect records if they didn't eventually have to face one another as Monroe's lone loss is to undefeated Onondaga.

The unprecedented 40-1 group of four is even more impressive when you factor in that Jamestown is 27-0 in sets this year in going 9-0 and Onondaga has lost just three sets (30-3) in going 10-0.

The Cougars opposition Thursday night has appeared in every NJCAA poll this season. Genesee will look to parlay these experiences - from the best competition as top benchmark competition – to improve as the season progresses, with each match giving the team that much more experience to draw from moving forward with a young team composed of almost all freshmen.

Against the Tribunes, Tommi Rutherford recorded nine digs, while Grace Zandrowicz added eight kills. Both Aleah Foos and Isabella Slocum blocked four shots apiece.

The Cougars will next host pod play Sept. 23 at the Genesee Community College Gymnasium with their first match against current No. 9 Erie scheduled for a 9 a.m. start.