Violet Volleyball Lengthens Win Streak



Women’s volleyball competed twice this past weekend at Stevens Institute of Technology, winning both games.

Michael Thompson, Staff Writer

The NYU women’s volleyball team’s steady improvement this season was on display again this week. The Violets dominated the Ducks Classic in Hoboken this weekend, taking out their three opponents in a total of 11 sets, extending their winning streak to five matches.

The Violets (9-3) kicked things off on Friday with an exhilarating five-set comeback win over SUNY Oneonta (21-25, 18-25, 25-23, 25-21, 18-16). After dropping the first two sets and appearing to be on the verge of defeat, the Violets stormed back, winning the next three sets — two of them by just two points — to steal the win. Down 11-4 in the third, the Violets rallied, eventually knotting things up at 16. The team finally grabbed the lead at 21-20, thanks to a ball handling error. NYU came back once again in the fourth from an 8-2 deficit to tie things up at two sets apiece. According to junior middle blocker Rayne Ellis, the Violets had to quickly adjust to a few foils thrown at them by Oneonta.

“Sometimes it takes a couple of sets to find the flow of the game,” Ellis said. “The team we were playing against had a couple of trick plays that we weren’t ready to defend. But then our coach switched up the lineup, told us to wake up, and we pulled through.”

The Violets finally completed the comeback late in the fifth, making up a three-point deficit to stun Oneonta. Sophomore outside hitter Shelby King led the team with 14 kills, while sophomore and junior liberos Stephanie Mao and Grace Napolitano combined for 33 digs.

“The whole team had bile in our throats, because if we had lost that two and a half hour game our confidence for the weekend would have been shot,” Ellis said.

The pressure that was so prevalent on Friday was nowhere to be found on Saturday, as the Violets dismantled Hartwick College 25-13, 25-14 and 25-17. Hartwick totaled just 19 points, and the Violets dominated in kills (38-16), aces (13-3) and assists (32-16). This time around, sophomore outside hitter Annie Singh led the team in kills with 12 and aces with six. Meanwhile, sophomore setter Daryl Mitchell led in assists with 25, and Napolitano notched 14 digs.

The Violets made it a clean sweep with 25-21, 25-22 and 25-17 wins over SUNY Oswego. The Violets saved their best set for last and again dominated a team in every major category.  The Violets held wide disparities in points (61-35), kills (44-26), aces (11-7) and assists (41-25). A few new faces appeared on the stat sheet, with junior outside hitter Jenna Dickey’s 12 kills topping the leaderboard. Mitchell and Napolitano once again led in assists and digs, with 38 and 11. The win marked the Violet’s seventh straight-set win of the year.

The Violets will try to keep up their momentum this week against St. Joseph’s College Tuesday. The team will be back in multi-match action this weekend at the Baruch Tri-Match at Baruch College, just a hop, skip and a jump away.

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Sept. 19 print edition. Email Michael Thompson at [email protected].