Men’s volleyball loses to Baruch in close match

Kyle Luther, Deputy Sports Editor

The NYU men’s volleyball team fell last night 3-2 in a tough five-set match to Baruch College at the Coles Sports Center. The loss snaps the Violets two-game winning streak and brings their record to 7-4 and 0-2 at home.

The Violets were able to take the first set 25-20 against the Bearcats. Junior outside hitter Nick Benson began the set with three straight kills. The Violets went on to dominate the first set, which was capped off by four more kills from Benson.

The second set was a different story, with the Violets finding themselves trailing most of the time. At one point the set was tied 13-13 but the Violets were not able to take the lead and lost 25-22.

The third went in the same fashion as the second with the Violets, only narrowly dropping the set 25-23.

Although the last two sets had been close, the final was anything but. The Violets quickly found themselves at a 10-2 deficit before rallying to tie the game 16-16. Despite the impressive comeback and two amazing blocks by junior Phil Bueno, the Violets ultimately lost the set and the game 25-21. Although the Violets were able to keep the matches close, they were never able to take the lead, often committing errors or not executing on easy hits.

One positive to take away from the loss was Benson, who continued his stellar season by finishing the match with 18 kills and two blocks.

“Last night’s game was tough,” Benson said. “We allowed them to go on a run and didn’t minimize our errors enough to get the win. It’s taxing to lose close sets, but I know this team will rebound well and hopefully get the win against Stevens next Wednesday.”

The Violets were also given solid performances by junior opposite Colin LaPorte and sophomore outside hitter Chase Klein, who combined for 15 kills, four blocks and one ace. Phil Bueno led the team with 9 blocks.

“I think we needed to be more consistent with our serving and defense,” Bueno said. “If we were able to keep up the pressure from the service line, then we could have put them in tough situations that would have made reading their offense easier for our defense. I believe that even though we lost, we are still a strong team that is continuing to develop and gel every day. This game will also serve as a good motivational tool for when we get into tough situations in the future.”

As evidenced by comparing NYU and Baruch’s team stats, which are nearly identical, the Violets were by no means outmatched. Looking forward, the Violets will need to take advantage of easy scoring opportunities, keep pressure from the service line and cut down on errors in close matches.

The Violets will be back in action on Wednesday, when they host the second-seeded Stevens Institute for Technology at 6 p.m. It will be the Violets’ third home game and first Violet Nation Giveaway Day.

Email Kyle Luther at [email protected].