The NYU men’s volleyball team suffered a tough loss to SUNY New Paltz in three straight sets at Coles Sports Center on Thursday. The loss dropped the No. 11 ranked Violets to 3-2, while the Hawks improved their record to an undefeated
The first set was relatively close, as the Hawks and Violets split the first 20 points at 10 apiece. The Hawks and the Violets traded points until the score reached 23-18 in favor of the Hawks. The Violets then scored three straight to come within two points of the lead. Ultimately a service error by the Violets and a service ace from the Hawks led to New Paltz taking the set, 25-21.
NYU did not fare as well in the second set, falling by an overwhelming margin of 10-1. The Hawks rolled from there, and eventually went on to end the set 25-12.
In the third and ultimately final set, things almost seemed to turn around for the Violets. They came out fighting, taking the Hawks to the wire at 13-11. There were multiple times in the match in which the Hawks took the lead by as many as seven points. NYU could only come within five towards the end, dropping the final set by a score of 25-20.
In spite of the loss, there were some impressive individual performances. Sophomore setter Patrick Merrick had a match-high 21 assists, while junior opposite Colin LaPorte tied a match high with eight kills, and also added two digs. Middle hitter sophomore Sean Leahy had three kills, while junior Nick Benson had five kills, along with a team-high-tying four digs. Sophomore Chase Klein had a positive outlook on the Violets’ early season stumble.
“We are ready to learn from our mistakes and move on into conference play,” Klein said.
Though LaPorte was disappointed in the Violets’ effort against city rival New Paltz, he mentioned some positives after the game.
“It was a really tough match for us, but I am glad it happened early on in the season,” LaPorte said. “New Paltz is a great team, and we now know what it is going to take for us as a team to compete with the best teams in our division.”
The Violets return to the court Sunday, as they open up United Volleyball Conference play with a tri-match in Elmira, New York. They will play the host Elmira at 11 a.m. before going up against Vassar College at 2 p.m. Despite their setback, the Violets are moving forward, hoping to fare better in conference play next Sunday.
A version of this article appeared in the Feb. 9 print edition. Email Bradley Alsop at [email protected]