The Genesee Community College volleyball team recorded its seventh sweep of the season against visiting Mercyhurst North East 3-0 on Sophomore and Athletes for Athletes Night at the Zambito Gymnasium Sept. 27.
The Cougars took the first set by the widest margin, 25-17. The Saints came the closest to winning a set in the second at 25-22, and Genesee completed the sweep in the third set 25-20.
Five of the team's 10 members were honored prior to the game as sophomores in their last home regular season match and included Audriana Reeves, Grace Zandrowicz, Sha-Ony Obispa, Lyndsey Rowland and Kaitlyn VanSkiver.
The Cougars have now won four of their last five and moved into a fifth-place conference tie with Finger Lakes with 7-3 conference records among the 18 teams. The first of the last four wins happened a week ago in one of the team's most impressive performances of recent memory. Trailing visiting Monroe, Genesee took the last three in an epic comeback win and the team's only win not to be by a sweep this season.
In the first set against Mercyhurst, the Cougars trailed by three in the early going before finally going ahead at 8-7 for good. Ana Carolina Cerezer Pinto got her first ace of the night on the team's 24th point and Rowland recorded a block to end the set.
In the second set, Genesee trailed 10-7 until Pinto delivered consecutive aces on her way to securing four points through serves to give the Cougars their first lead at 11-10. Most of the rest of the second set went back-and-forth until Genesee took seven of the last dozen points after breaking the last tie at 18-18.
Genesee never trailed in the third set with the closest Mercyhurst came to challenging the Cougars was at 9-9. The Saints stayed close and made it a one-point set at 21-20, but Genesee finished the set with the final four points to earn the sweep.
Pinto led Genesee in three of four categories that included: digs (21), kills (13) and aces (4), while Rowland had eight blocks on the night with five being solo, and VanSkiver added three.
Reeves finished second on the team in digs with 12 and with one ace. Zandrowicz was second to Pinto in kills with eight and finished fourth in digs with nine.
Obispa had double-digit digs with 10 to finish third on the team for the night with a team total of 62, to go with 30 kills, 18 blocks (six solo) and six aces.
The Cougars return to weekend pod play in Canandaigua and hosted by Finger Lakes Community College Sept 29 against Mohawk Valley, Fulton-Montgomery and Herkimer.