After an up and down tournament last weekend, the women’s volleyball team’s season ended this weekend at the University Athletic Association Championship, which was hosted by the University of Rochester. This season has seen the Violets struggle despite stellar seasons from standouts like senior middle blocker Nicole Frias and sophomore libero Brooke Tannahill.
The tournament, which took place Nov. 6 and 7, began for the Violets with a match-up against Washington University in St. Louis, a team ranking third in the country according to the most recent American Volleyball Coaches Association poll. The Violets seemed outmatched from the beginning and lost the match in straight sets 25-12, 25-18, 25-9. Although suffering a loss, a few players had solid performances. Freshman outside hitter Shelby King led NYU in kills and freshman middle blocker Patricia Stirb finished the contest with five kills and one block. Tannahill also had a great game and notched eight digs and one assist.
In the second game of the day, the Violets matched up with Rochester, who came into the contest at an even 16-16. Despite great games from Frias, who totaled 11 kills and two blocks, and freshman Daryl Mitchell, who notched an outstanding 30 assists, the Violets suffered another defeat 15-25, 25-20, 25-19 and 25-15. Tannahill finished with 17 digs and freshman defensive specialist Stephanie Mao notched another 11 digs. Sophomore outside hitter Rayne Ellis totaled five kills and 3.5 blocks. King had an impressive 10 kills.
Coming off those two hard losses, the Violets went into the final day of the UAA tournament looking to end their season on a high note against Brandeis University (5-27). After dropping the first set, NYU dominated the match 21-25, 25-16, 25-14 and 25-12. Frias, who was playing in her last game ever for the Violets, led the team with eight kills and one block. Frias’ contributions, in addition to Ellis’ eight kills, freshman outside hitter Annie Singh’s eight kills, and freshman setter Daryl Mitchell’s 32 assists, the Violets breezed easily through the final three sets.
The win left the Violets with a 16-18 record and a seventh-place tournament finish at the Championship. Looking back on the season, Ellis said the team will use this year as foundation to build for the following season.
“I feel that the season was a good start to the long journey that we have ahead of us,” Ellis said. “The team is comprised of literally all freshmen and sophomores and still we were able to defeat high competition. So even though it was a building year, I’d say we accomplished enough to be proud of.”
The Violets, who will only lose Frias to graduation, are already anxiously waiting for next season. With the amount of potential the team has and the experience they have gained, the entire UAA should be on
A version of this article appeared in the Nov. 9 print edition. Email Kyle Ryan at [email protected]