Men’s Volleyball Falls Victim to Stevens Institute of Technology



Senior Phil Bueno led the men’s volleyball team against Steven’s Tech.

Michael Thompson, Sports Editor

After two straight wins, the stage was set for the most important match of the season as the NYU men’s volleyball team — focused on revenge — hosted the Stevens Institute of Technology in Brooklyn on Wednesday. Though they continued to play with newfound energy and determination, the Violets were bested by Stevens in a five-set slugfest.

A battle was quickly brewing in the first set as the Violets, ranked 13th in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association poll, made sure not to fall into an early hole, gaining an edge with a 25-21 win. The team jumped out quickly to a 10-5 lead before number five Stevens cut the lead down to two. But the Violets stayed in front and finished strong, winning three of the set’s final four points.

Stevens answered in a tight second set, edging the Violets 25-22. Though Stevens was again behind, they held strong, erasing a 17-11 deficit with six straight points. From there, the teams exchanged points until Stevens broke a 20-20 tie with two straight points to gain the upper hand. Mirroring NYU’s finish to the first set, Stevens took three out of four points to knot the set count at one.

Both teams continued to trade points in the third. Tied at 15, the Violets went on a 3-0 run and failed to relinquish the lead, though Stevens narrowed it to one, a kill by sophomore middle hitter Chase Corbett and a service ace by senior captain Nick Benson made it 23-20. An attack error by Stevens put NYU ahead and looking to finish in the fourth set.

But Stevens once again rallied in the next set, fighting back from another deficit to take the fourth. The Violets looked poised the score the upset with an 11-9 advantage, but Stevens answered and the teams reverted to trading the lead. Tied at 16, the Violets fell victim to a 6-1 run by Stevens and had to settle for a fifth and deciding set.

In the final frame, the back-and-forth battle continued, as the teams split the first 10 points in the abbreviated set to 15. Finally, Stevens took full control, going on a crucial 5-1 route en route to a 15-10 win.

In defeat, the Violets proved that they could compete with Stevens and possibly beat them. Virtually even at most stats, NYU’s most notable disadvantage was in hitting percentage, where their .197 was simply not efficient enough to defeat Stevens. Still, the team had its chances but couldn’t close Stevens out.

Senior opposite Phil Bueno was dominant, finishing with a team-high 20 points, while junior outside hitter and UVC Player of the Week Chase Klein finished with 11. Corbett and Benson combined for 24, and junior setter Derrick Chiu had a match-best 45 assists. Benson knows what his team is capable of, and after tonight wants to see them continue their recent success.

“We had a really solid chance to beat these guys,” Benson said. “We were the better team for a lot of the match, but let it slip away. We have a really big weekend ahead of us, so we need to rebound and work hard at practice Friday.”

Back to .500 but with increasing confidence, the Violets return to the court on Sunday in the second UVC Crossover of the season against Penn State-Behrend and SUNY New Paltz.

Email Michael Thompson at [email protected].