Hot off of their biggest win of the season against Vassar College, the NYU men’s volleyball team could not afford a letdown against the beatable New Jersey City University on Thursday. Focused, NYU built on its momentum, winning their second straight against in straight sets.
The 12th-ranked Violets became increasingly efficient throughout the match, extending their winning margin in each successive set. The first set was action-packed, as the Violets maintained a small lead against NJCU. But NYU gradually built its lead as the set progressed, eventually reaching an insurmountable 20-14 lead. NJCU attempted to fight back with a small rally, but the Violets held their ground and a kill by junior outside hitter Chase Klein finished the set 25-21.
The second set was even more impressive, as the Violets raced out to a 9-2 advantage before NJCU was forced to call a timeout. The Violets stayed out in front, consistently holding a near-double digit lead before another kill by Klein finished the set emphatically 25-15. The beginning of the third set virtually mirrored the second, as the Violets rapidly built an 8-3 lead and didn’t look back. NJCU was able to pull within four points, but were stifled by five straight NYU points that put them in a 17-8 hole. The Violets finished the match strong, winning eight out of the last 10 points to cap off the set 25-10.
The Violets were dominant across the board, outclassing NJCU in every facet of the game. Holding double-digit advantages in kills and assists, they were highly efficient, with a .443 hitting percentage. They also kept their errors down for the second consecutive match, finishing with just seven. Klein led the Violets’ charge, finishing with 10 kills, while senior opposite Colin LaPorte and senior captain Nick Benson combined for 10 more. Junior opposite Will Kozloski added six kills of his own on 11 attempts, and junior setters Patrick Merrick and Derrick Chiu finished with a combined 27 assists. Benson was happy to see his team finally clicking on all levels.
“The win against NJCU was great mainly because everybody on the team got to contribute,” Benson said.
With the win, the Violets are above the .500 mark for the first time since Feb. 4, when they defeated Baruch to get to 3-2 on the season. With newly found momentum, they will look to get revenge this Wednesday against the Stevens Institute of Technology, who they lost to in straight sets when they met earlier this month. Benson and his teammates are familiar with the challenge in front of them, and plan to come out stronger this time around.
“In order for us to beat Stevens on Wednesday, we need to have two solid practices Monday and Tuesday and get our offense clicking again,” Benson said. “It should be a great match.”
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