Women’s volleyball finishes in third at UAA Championship

The Violets now have had back-to-back top-three finishes at the tournament. 


NYU placed in third at the University Athletic Association Championship this last weekend. (Courtesy of NYU Athletics)

Pablo Ocariz, Staff Writer

NYU hosted the University Athletic Association Championship last weekend at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. The Violets finished third in the tournament, with wins over Brandeis University and Carnegie Mellon University, and a disappointing loss to Emory University in the semifinals.

The weekend got off to a perfect start for the Violets, with a dominant sweep over the Brandeis Judges on Friday afternoon. 

The Judges entered the weekend 0-7 in conference play and had not won a set against a UAA opponent all season.

The outside hitter duo of sophomore Olivia Lewandowski and senior Haley Holz had fantastic matches, with both of them reaching double-digit kills.

NYU’s second match of the day came against the Emory Eagles. The Violets had already beaten the Eagles earlier in the season in a tightly contested five set win on Oct. 16. 

“We were both ranked sixth [in the nation],” Lewandowski said. “It had been a toss up all season.”

The Violets lost the match in four sets.. The Eagles would go on to win the tournament against Washington University in St. Louis.

“It could’ve gone either way,” said Lewandowski. “We just had to realize that these games are so crucial.” 

Despite the 1-3 final score, almost every set was close — the Violets were within five points of winning in the final two sets. Senior outside hitter Gabriella Spaethling totalled 14 kills.

The Violets, however, lacked an ability to return swings. Emory had 70 digs compared to NYU’s 50, and despite having 10 more attack errors, the Eagles still managed to hit a better percentage than the Violets. 

The next day, NYU faced Carnegie Mellon in the third place match, where the Violets elevated their defense. They held the Tartans to a .083 hitting percentage.

“Our blocking was super consistent today, so was our serve receive,” said Lewandowski. “All around I think we were more solid.”

The team ended with a solid, albeit disappointing finish in the tournament and an incredibly valuable learning experience to take into the NCAA Tournament next weekend.

“Playing so many good teams gives us a step up for the tournament,” Holz said.

The Violets play Westfield State University in the first round of the tournament this coming Thursday, Nov. 10, and they will hope to learn from the disappointment this weekend to make a run at the national title. In last year’s trip to the tournament, NYU appeared in the regional round. 

Contact Pablo Ocariz at [email protected]