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HAMBURG, NY – The Hilbert College volleyball team started slowly, gained momentum and fought to a fifth set in the 3-2 loss to Geneseo in the Hawks’ home opener September 4. Hilbert had three players reach for double-figure kills and Shannon Memminger set for 37 assists, but they couldn’t hold on in the final set and dropped to 1-2 on the year as the Blue Knights improved to 2-2.
Junior Jordan Botsford (13) freshman Amanda Binder (11) and sophomore Allegra Johnson (10) led the offensive charge for Hilbert at the net earning 34 of the team’s 49 kills. Botsford, junior Kayla Lewis, and senior Chelsea Reischuck were all credited with 15 digs and Johnson followed right behind with 13.
The glaring stats for Hilbert were their errors, which gave the game away at times to the visitors. The Hawks were whistled for 12 ball handling errors, 18 service errors and 15 receiving errors.
Geneseo had a more balanced attack with Erika Dannenfelser earning nine kills and Samantha Holdredge leading with 11 digs.
In each of the first two games, both teams traded points early on until Geneseo rallied for the 25-15 and 25-19 two-set lead.
The Hawks took a 21-16 hold in the third game and built it to 24-18 before they had a mini-breakdown, giving Geneseo five straight points off errors. Hilbert finished the set with a 25-23 score and stayed alive for a fourth set.
The Hawks again built a nice cushion 16-11 early but then found themselves down 21-17. Hilbert cut the lead to 23-21 and were one point away from the match ending as they trailed 24-21. Jordan Botsford served them back into the mix and tied the game 25-25. At this point, the Memminger-to-Binder connection took over and gave Hilbert the advantage. Memminger captured the come-back with another service ace to knot the contest at 2-2.
Geneseo jumped out to an 8-1 lead before the teams switched sides in the shortened fifth-set and they captured the match with a 15-9 score.
Ironically, both teams will turn around and face each other in two days in the first game of the Golden Flyers Tournament hosted by Nazareth College September 6. After the 4 pm game in Rochester, Hilbert will than square off against RIT at 8pm. The tournament continues Saturday, Sept 7 with a 1pm contest against the hosts before Hilbert finishes the two day event in pool play late Saturday afternoon. Follow the tournament's happenings by clicking on this LINK.
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