CANTON, N.Y. – The SUNYIT Women's Volleyball Team (0-1, 0-0 NEAC) fell in its season-opener Friday evening, 3-0 (25-18, 25-22, 25-16) to Houghton College. The loss came in the team's first round match of the SUNY Canton Invitational.
The loss in straight sets comes exactly one year after the 2013 SUNYIT team similarly lost their season-opener, again at the SUNY Canton Invitational. Last year's team, however, would follow that loss with a school record 24-match win streak, not dropping a single match for the entire month of September en route to a 29-5 season and an appearance in the NEAC Championship.
This year's team would no doubt be in favor of rebounding with a win streak of its own, however they will have to do so despite the loss of seniors Kaitlyn Harrington (last year's NEAC Player of the Year) and all-conference players Taviot Jackowski and Hanne Saarinen.
The Wildcats do return last year's standout libero Erika Reakes (Brewerton, N.Y. / Paul V. Moore), and the junior came up with 19 digs in Friday's loss. Also getting in on the action were returners Morgan Eberley (Utica, N.Y. / Whitesboro) and Shelby Kostal (Greenport, N.Y. / Greenport) who each added 6 kills. Both players should see a lot of touches this year with the departure of Harrington and Saarinen. The team will also be looking to new arrivals like freshman Megan Will (Remsen, N.Y. / Remsen), who registered 2 solo blocks on the night.
The Wildcats were in the middle of an 8 p.m. match with Potsdam St. when SUNYIT Sports Information went to press, and will wrap up the SUNY Canton Invitational with an 11 a.m. match against the host team on Saturday.