The men’s volleyball team ended its season in a crushing loss to the second-ranked New Paltz Hawks in the United Volleyball Conference tournament held at Nazareth College in Rochester, N.Y., on April 12.
The team held a conference record of just 5-6 and an overall record of 18-11.
Before making it into the championship game on Sunday, the men’s team had been on a winning streak, beating Ramapo College in a 3-1 victory last Wednesday and then going on to sweep Nazareth College in a 3-0 victory Saturday morning.
NYU advanced to the semi-finals where they faced Elmira College in a tight game that extended to five sets. Having won the first set 25-23, the Violets gave up their next two sets to Elmira, 25-18 and 38-36. Even though they were down, the Violets rallied and took the next two sets in a close victory over the Soaring Eagles. Despite their loss in the ensuing championship, the Violets showed true grit, having entered the tournament at a low eighth seed ranking.
Stern senior Connor Mortland, a setter for the team, said making it to the UVC championship was an accomplishment in itself.
“We have had an up-and-down season,” Mortland said. “But coming in as the eighth seed and beating the top seed and a very good team in Elmira has been very rewarding, and it feels great to finally get this far in the UVC tournament.”
Mortland, a major contributor for the men’s 2014 volleyball season, explained the team’s tactical advantages going into the semi-final match.
“Our main strengths were our passing and serving,” Mortland said. “We were able to keep Elmira from getting good swings in the fourth and fifth games and our passing allowed our offense to be effective.”
In a sweeping 3-0 defeat to New Paltz, NYU claimed second place in the UVC conference tournament. Even with their shaky season, the Violets were able to make it all the way to the UVC championships, shocking many within their conference.
Multiple players stepped up during the tournament, including hitter Chase Klein, a Tisch freshman, and outside hitter Jacob Getz, a CAS freshman, which allowed the offense to succeed in the early stages of the tournament.
For Mortland, the loss was exacerbated by the fact that this marks his final game for the team.
“As a senior, it’s tough to see my volleyball career end, especially playing this sport for so long,” he said. “wWe’ve had major changes to our personnel over the last four years, but we have been able to make adjustments and put together successful seasons.”
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, April 14 print edition. Michelle Tran is a staff writer. Email her at [email protected]