The NYU men’s volleyball team dropped a tough match 3-0 against number-two Stevens Institute of Technology Ducks Wednesday night in straight sets at Coles Sports Center. This was the third loss for the Violets in their last five games.
Stevens is the best team that the NYU has faced this season, and they proved their ranking with strong serves and tough blocking at the net. None of the matches were close when it came down to the finish.
The Violets, ranked ninth by the American Volleyball Coaches Association, came into the game with a 7-4 record. The Violets kept the first set close at the beginning 10-10, but soon fell behind losing seven of the next eight points. The Ducks would then combine an ace and a kill to push their lead to 18-11, which was insurmountable for the Violets. The Ducks went on to win the first set 25-16.
In the second set, the Violets trailed the entire time. Despite a few nice kills, it did not appear as though the Violets could come back. They were able to cut the deficit to 16-12 but after a few service errors and missed opportunities at the net, the second set ended up being a 25-18 victory for the Ducks.
In the third and final set, the Violets were able to come within three points of tying the match when it was 16-13, but the Ducks went on a five point run and NYU lost the final set 25-18.
Violets juniors Nick Benson and Colin LaPorte led the team with 10 kills each and sophomore Patrick Merrick led the team with a match-high 31 assists. Other notable performances came from senior Andrew Quirk who had seven digs and sophomore Sean Leahy who had four kills and one block.
Although the Violets matched the Ducks in kills and beat them in assists, it was their errors that did them in. The Violets committed 14 errors to the Ducks’ six, often in big moments or early in a set. The Ducks kept up the pressure from the service line, tallying up eight aces and keeping the Violets on the defensive. The Violets had three aces, but they also committed more service line errors.
Junior Phil Bueno summed up the team’s frustrations.
“We could’ve played much better,” Bueno said. ”We have shown that we can play at a much higher level than we did tonight.”
Stevens proved to be the better team Wednesday night but the Violets were able to hang around for all three sets against the number-two seed. If they are able to cut down on the unforced errors, their next meeting could sway in the Violets’ favor.
The Violets will return to the court March 10 at home when they host Rutgers University at Coles. The match begins at 7 p.m.
A version of this article appeared in the March 5 print edition. Email Kyle Luther at [email protected]