Women’s Volleyball | 11/9/2023 12:20:23 PM
No. 3 seed Keuka College and No. 5 seed Alfred University will meet for the 2023 Empire 8 Women’s Volleyball Championship after earning upset victories on the road in the semifinal matches on Thursday, November 9. Keuka rallied to defeat No. 2 seed Hartwick College in a five-set thriller, while Alfred snapped top-seed and four-time defending E8 Champion St. John Fisher’s 48-game winning streak against Empire 8 opponents dating back to the start of the 2019 season.
Both Keuka and Alfred are in the E8 Championship for the first time in program history. They will meet for the 2023 E8 Women’s Volleyball Championship Saturday afternoon at a time to be determined at Dave Sweet Court in the JMW Recreation Center. Keuka and Alfred faced each other once during the regular season on Oct. 20 with Keuka rallying from a 2-0 set deficit to defeat the Saxons, 20-25, 14-25, 25-21, 26-24, 15-6
The winner of the 2023 Empire 8 Championship receives and automatic berth into the NCAA Division III Women’s Volleyball Championship, which begins next weekend.
NO. 5 ALFRED 3, NO. 1 ST. JOHN FISHER 1
Alfred (13-13) won its second E8 Tournament match in three days, snapping top-seed St. John Fisher’s (17-12) 48-match winning streak against league foes dating back to the start of the 2019 season in four sets. The Saxons fell in the opening set, 25-19 but stormed back to win the next three sets, 25-23, 25-21, 25-17. Alfred is in the E8 Championship match for the first time in program history.
Alfred put down 15 service aces to eight for St. John Fisher. The Saxons had 76 digs on the evening as well and took control of the match by hitting .414 in the third set.
Taylor Malone led all student-athletes with 20 kills, while hitting .260 to go aling with 14 digs. Fiona McNeill added seven kills and three blocks, while Delaney Sims had 39 assists 12 digs and a team-high four service aces. Jamie Chun added 19 digs and six kills, while Darian Ortiz added 16 digs.
Kaylene Noble led St. John Fisher with 15 kills, while Delayne Young added 16 digs and 11 kills. Kiera Hartpence had a match-high 21 digs. Ana Gutman and Olivia Nellis had seven kills apiece for the Cardinals, who were looking to win their fifth straight Empire 8 Championship.
NO. 3 KEUKA 3, NO. 2 HARTWICK 2
Keuka (20-6) won its second Empire 8 postseason match in three days and advanved to the Empire 8 Championship match for the first time in program history after a 21-25, 25-22, 23-25, 25-17, 15-9 win over No. 2 Hartwick (14-10) from Binder Gymnasium.
After letting a large lead slip away in the third set, Keuka found themselves down 12-5 in the fourth set, facing elimination. The Wolves would not quit however, going on a 20-5 run to win the fourth set, 25-17 and then opened the fifth set with a 10-4 spurt before putting the match away.
Keuka senior Dayna Edholm led all student-athletes with 19 kills to go along with 13 digs and three blocks. Cameron Knapp hit .467 with 16 kills in just 30 attempts. Megan McCann and Nina Scott combined for 21 kills, while Emma Sipos was tremendous defensively with 29 digs. Casey Hunziker added a match-high 48 assists.
Staecia Silofau led the Hawks with 17 kills to go along with 11 digs and seven blocks, while Shaelyn Thornton added 11 kills and 12 digs, while Vanessa Seymour dished out 44 assists. Sarah Petz led the Hawks with 21 digs, while Aliyah Williams and Shelby Swartz had five blocks each.
An even match throughout, Hartwick had 73 points to 72 for Keuka, while Keuka had 58 kills to Hartwick’s 53. While Hartwick held an 11-3 edge in blocks, Keuka had 11 aces to nine for Hartwick.
2023 Empire 8 Women’s Volleyball Championship Tournament Schedule
No. 5 Alfred defeated No. 4 Nazareth, 3-0 (25-21, 25-17, 26-24) – BOX SCORE
No. 3 Keuka defeated No. 6 Utica, 3-1 (25-22, 25-23, 25-27, 25-14) – BOX SCORE
Thursday, Nov. 9 – Semifinals
No. 5 Alfred defeated No. 1 St. John Fisher, 3-1 (19-25, 25-23, 25-21, 25-17) – BOX SCORE
No. 3 Keuka defeated No. 2 Hartwick, 3-2 (21-25, 25-22, 23-25, 25-17, 15-9) – BOX SCORE
Saturday, Nov. 11 – Championship
No. 5 at Alfred at No. 3 Keuka – TBA – VIDEO
ABOUT THE EMPIRE 8 CONFERENCE
The members of the Empire 8 Conference are committed first and foremost to the pursuit of academic excellence and the league is regarded as an outstanding NCAA Division III conference. The membership has distinguished itself among its peer group for its quality institutions, spirited and sportsmanlike competition, outstanding services and highly ethical policies and practices. Its commitment to serve the educational needs of its student-athletes is the hallmark of the E8. For more on the Empire 8 visit www.empire8.com and YouTube
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