Volleyball has mixed results in series of close matches

Sean Leahy had a strong all-around match.

Now back on track for the season, the men’s volleyball team ended up with a 15-9 record after splitting their two matches this week against tough opponents: New Jersey City University and Stevens Institute of Technology.

In their first match of the week on Tuesday, the Violets defeated New Jersey City University 3-1 by scores of 25-16, 24-26, 25-15, 25-22 at the Coles Sports Center.

With the team’s record at 14-8 while facing a formidable opponent, the Violets’ coaching staff decided to try putting in players who had previously been sitting on the bench. The decision paid off, as a trio of freshman had standout performances. Outside hitter Andrew Zhu led the team with 10 kills while middle hitter Chase Corbett had six kills and two blocks. Setter Jaime Rivera provided 10 assists and three service aces en route to the Violets’ 3-1 victory.

The first set remained tied at the beginning until the Violets scored four consecutive points to go up 11-7 and never looked back. The Violets went up by as many as 10 points before the set was done.

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The second set was a much closer competition, with the Violets never leading by more than three points. Although the Violets led the match 23-22, they let their lead slip and the Knights capitalized on five of the last six points.

The third set was similar to the first, with the score even in the beginning. The Violets managed to grab the lead with two straight points, keeping the momentum on their side. The Violets finished off the set winning the last seven out of eight points.

In the final set, the Violets and Knights found themselves tied at 16 before NYU went on a run, scoring the last six points of the set and winning the match.

They looked sharp at the service line and were able to put away the Knights by getting into a rhythm and going on runs that could not be caught.

However, the Violets could not repeat this victory at their second match, which took place Wednesday at Coles as first-ranked Stevens won all three sets against NYU.

Stevens went up early and never gave up the lead. They coasted to a 25-14 victory on the back of strong key service aces and staunch net defense.

The next two sets were much closer. Neither team was able to pull ahead, but in both instances Stevens was able to come through with clutch game winning points and both sets were scored 25-23 in Stevens favor. Sophomore Derrick Chiu thinks that the team will have a better chance next time if they play more consistently.

“I think we played and executed better than the last time we played Stevens, but we gave up runs in tight situations and that caused our loss,” Chiu said. “Our next steps should be looking to clean up our play and be able to perform more consistently over the course of games.”

Email Kyle Luther at [email protected]

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