The Screaming Eagles traveled to SUNY IT for the opening weekend of the conference schedule to take on Morrisville State, Wells College and SUNY IT.
CSE was still without a healthy starting setter in Amy Cooper and was missing backup setter Cheyenne Grant and MB/OH Kiana Hawkins so the team employed a 6-2 system for the first time this season as Nicole Morera and Katie Cooper took over setting duties for the weekend.
The team started off well against Morrisville State taking the 1st set 25-15 behind an error free offensive and serving performance that helped the Eagles stifle the Mustang attack. But the inexperience in the system and the new rotations slowly started to become evident as the Mustangs racked up 13 kills in set 2 to CSE's 7 and pulled away late for a 25-17 set victory. Morrisville did not look back from that point on as the Eagles just could not straighten out its passing and transition game and the Mustangs out-killed the Eagles in the last 2 sets 24-11 as they sealed the victory with a 25-16 and 25-12 3rd and 4th set wins.
CSE played Wells College in the first of 2 matches in day 2 of the conference schedule. CSE made slight lineup adjustments to its rotations and it seemed to pay off early as the Eagles were competitive and seemed more comfortable in the 6-2 system. Wells College took the set 25-17 as both teams hit for 11 kills but CSE posted 4 more hitting errors and 4 more serving errors for the set. In set 2, the Eagles cleaned up their serving miscues and pounded out 12 kills to Wells' 7 to win the set late 25-23. Wells doubled up CSE 12-6 in kills and controlled the 3rd set to a 25-13 win. Facing another potential 4th set loss, the Eagles rallied and hit for 12 kills to only 7 by Wells and took the set 25-18 to force a 5th and final set. The 5th set saw the Eagles hold a 5-4 lead early but 4 straight hitting errors and a Wells' kill opened an insurmountable 9-5 deficit CSE could not overcome even though the Eagles had only 1 other hitting error the rest of the set. Although the Eagles out-killed the Express 7-5, the 4 straight errors proved to be the difference in the end. The Eagles trailed 14-10 late but forced 1 hitting error and had an ace and a kill of their own to pull within 1 but the comeback was ended on a right-side kill by the Express to take the set and the match 15-13.
Next up for the Eagles was the SUNY IT Wildcats, the current #1 team in the conference at 3W-0L. The Eagles struggled to generate any offense as the SUNY hitters were able to hit over the pin blockers at will in a 43-16 kill advantage over the Eagles. CSE fought through the adversity of its circumstance and its opponent in the 3rd set to pull within 1 at 14-15 but the Wildcats reestablished control and ran away with the set 25-16 to seal the victory.
The Eagles will travel to take on York College on Tuesday and will again travel to Manhattanville College on Saturday to take on the College of New Rochelle and Manhattanville as the Eagles try to end their 3-game losing streak.