No End to Skid For Volleyball Over Weekend



Women’s volleyball played a close match against Montclair State, with junior Rayne Ellis and two other teammates each achieving double-digit kills.

Michael Thompson, Staff Writer

After dropping a match to the Stevens Institute of Technology on Wednesday, the NYU women’s volleyball team traveled to New Jersey Friday to compete against Montclair State University. Determined and looking to rebound, the Violets were stymied, losing in four sets (25-23, 20-25, 20-25, 26-28) to drop to 14-12 on the season.

The action was competitive throughout, with the largest margin of victory in any set being just seven points. The Violets built a 16-11 lead in the first set, but Montclair State answered, eventually narrowing the gap to 24-23. But a timely error by Montclair State’s Madison Maute gave the Violets an early edge.

Undeterred, Montclair State started the second set with a quick 11-6 lead of their own, but like the first set, the margin didn’t last as the Violets tightened the gap to one point at 15-14. But Montclair responded and established a lead strong enough to take the set. It was more of the same in the third, as Montclair State took its second consecutive set by the same score. With their backs against the wall, the Violets put up a tremendous fight in the fourth, scoring the first six points of the set. However, Montclair State returned the favor, as the two teams traded points deep into the set. Leading 23-17, the Violets gave up six straight points to Montclair State, tying the set and setting the stage for a furious finish. The teams remained tied at 26 before Montclair State took the decisive two points on a service ace and attack error by freshman outside hitter Caroline Rapp to finish things off.

The stats illustrate the competitiveness of the match. The Violets led in blocks (10-3) and digs (63-57) while Montclair State finished with more kills (55-51), aces (7-5), and assists (52-49). On the Violets’ side, junior middle blocker Rayne Ellis and sophomore Gretchen Cash combined for 27 kills. Ellis also led the team with seven blocks, while sophomore setter Daryl Mitchell finished with 25 assists — a tally topped by Montclair State’s Ashley Griffith, who finished with a whopping 46. Though pleased by the effort and moments of dominance in the match, Ellis believes the Violets need to be more consistent.

“We played hard but we won’t be able to pull out a win until we’re able to pull together all the pieces at the same time,” Ellis said. “So we’re focusing on the details so that next weekend we’re able to be more confident and play as a team.”

With the UAA Championship looming at the start of November, the Violets are back in action next Friday and Saturday as they host the New York Region Challenge at the Hunter Sportsplex in Manhattan.

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Oct. 24 print edition. Email Michael Thompson at [email protected].