NYU women’s volleyball won all three of its matches over the weekend en route to their first NYU Violet Classic championship since 2010. Both the Violets and the Haverford College Black Squirrels held a 3-0 record at the end of the tournament, but the Violets were awarded the championship because of a point differential of +85 to +58. The Violets hosted the tournament at Coles Sports Center on Sept. 21 and 22.
During the matches against the Wesleyan University Cardinals, the North Park University Vikings and the Frostburg State University Bobcats, NYU dropped only a single set.In their first match against Wesleyan on Friday, the Violets dropped the first set, but dominated the next three sets 25-11, 25-18 and 25-12. Team captains junior Alexandria Mao and senior Kaylee Schanda, took control offensively and defensively. Mao made 15 kills and Schanda recorded 18 digs against Wesleyan in the first round.
“We played very sharp volleyball,” said Mao, who was voted the Violet Classic’s most valuable player. “We didn’t play to the other teams’ level. We concentrated on us.”
Against North Park University, Mao had a total of 10 kills while hitting .444. The Violets won in straight sets with scores of 25-8, 25-21 and 25-10.
“I wanted to focus on being a leader,” Mao said. “Coming into UAA I wanted to provide an example for all the freshmen.”
Freshman middle blocker Nicole Frias came out strong with seven kills and five block assists, a performance that led her to being named to the All-Tournament team.
“I didn’t expect to get it because I’m a freshman … it’s a big boost of confidence,” Frias said.
The decisive game for the Violets against Frostburg was once again marked by great performances from Mao, who tallied 14 kills and 12 digs. Frias played well and had 10 kills. Sophomore outside hitter Allie Williams hit a team high of .571 with nine kills.
Led by their team captains, the Violets kept their momentum through three sets with great organization, defense and team chemistry.
“We had Alex and Kaylee returning and leading,” said head coach Jolie Ward.
The final scores of the first two sets do not correctly illustrate NYU’s dominance over Frostburg, as most of Frostburg’s points were errors from NYU rather than earned points.
Only in the final set did the Violet’s defense falter, giving Frostburg their first lead of the match at 6-3. NYU quickly came back, regaining the lead with four straight points. The set ended 25-16 as the Violets kept up their ability to capitalize on Frostburg’s defensive errors.
When asked what she expects for the rest of the season, Ward said “I can’t guarantee W’s, but we will focus on our side to do our best work.”
The Violets return to the court against the Polytechnic Institute of NYU on Wednesday, Sept. 26, in Brooklyn, NY.
A version of this article appeared in the Sept. 24 print edition. Francisco Navas is a contributing writer. Email him at email@example.com.
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