Fredonia State Athletics, where success is a tradition

Sports Information Department 112 Dods Hall
Phone (716) 673-3100 / Fax (716) 673-3136

CONTACT: Jerry Reilly,
Sports Information Director

DATE: Thurs., Oct. 18, 2007


Weekend Preview

Fall teams enter homestretch as winter teams open

FREDONIA, N.Y. -- Two athletic seasons cross paths this weekend at Fredonia State.

For the fall teams, it's the homestretch. Games, matches, and meets has post-season implications. Two winter program will also compete for the first time, one of them at home.

The busy weekend begins at 4 p.m. Friday at two venues. At that time, the second round of SUNYAC Pool Play gets started, with all six West Division teams convening at Dods Hall for two days of matches. Up the road at Buffalo State, the men's hockey opens its season vs. Cortland in the first round of the SUNYAC Challenge (see separate story on this website).

Volleyball also gets the day rolling Saturday at 10 a.m. with the continuation of SUNYAC Pool Play. The final matches of the day are scheduled to start at 6 p.m.

"This should be a great weekend of volleyball," said head coach Geoff Braun, whose team was 4-1 at the previous round of pool play Sept. 20-21 at Geneseo. Its lone loss came to Brockport.

"We want to play well to maintain our momentum going into the final stretch," Braun said. "Pool play weekend is always extremely competitive and we are excited to be able to play at home."

Also Saturday, the men's and women's cross country teams will compete in the SUNYAC Championship Meet at Potsdam, while both soccer teams will square off vs. Brockport at 1 p.m. The rematch is set for 6 p.m. Saturday.

The Blue Devil women are at home battling for their post-season lives. The men, already assured of a playoff spot, are at Brockport with the No. 1 seed on the line.

"We have a tough test in Brockport," women's head coach Chris Case said. "They are the defending SUNYAC Champs and are playing good soccer right now. We need a win to be guarnteed a spot in the playoffs so we will have to be on top of our game."

It'll also mark the final regular-season home game for the lone senior on the team, defender Danielle Bleecker (Pittsford/Pittsford-Mendon).

"It is not often," men's coach P.J. Gondek said of his Saturday encounter with Brockport, "that the top two teams in SUNYAC play their final game for the No. 1 seed so this is a special game ... It is more special to finish (No. 1) in a very tough conference. "Right now we are playing our best soccer defensively and doing just enough offensively. Against Brockport we hope for more of the same."

In cross country, the women's 6,000-meter race will go off at 11 a.m., with sophomore Jesica Bennett (Rochester/Irondequoit) looking to improve upon her sixth-place finish last year. The men's 8,000-meter race is a noon start.

The other Blue Devil team getting its season started this weekend are the swimming and diving squads, both men and women. They play host to Morrisville State at 1 p.m. in the Steele Hall Natatorium. The Blue Devils return two All-American divers, junior Kelly Sponholz (Alden) for the women, and senior Scott Horsington (Churchville/Churchville-Chili) for the men.

Meanwhile, the hockey team resumes the SUNYAC Challenge when it faces off against Manhattanville -- a non-SUNYAC member -- at 4 p.m. Saturday, again at Buffalo State.

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