Women’s volleyball loses in Final Four of NCAA tournament

After a 3-1 loss to Trinity University, the No. 2 Violets ended their dominant season.

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NYU Women’s Volleyball team lost 1-3 to Trinity University. (Courtesy of NYU Athletics)

Pablo Ocariz, Staff Writer

The NYU women’s volleyball team ended its strong season on a sour note after a loss to Trinity University on Thursday, Nov. 17, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The Violets had an incredible run to the Final Four, only losing four sets in their first four games of the tournament in a dominant display through the regional rounds.

Trinity advanced in the tournament after beating No. 1 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and No. 18 Massachusetts Institute of Technology on its route to the Final Four.

In Thursday’s contest, the Violets got off to a great start, winning the first set 25-21. This early optimism was quickly squashed by the Tigers, who won the next three sets to clinch the match.

The first set was the only frame in which NYU was able to out-hit Trinity, recording 17 kills on a .262 hitting percentage to the Tigers’ 13 on .19. 

In the last three sets, the Violets were out-hit 39-33. NYU still had a 16-8 advantage in the fourth frame, looking to force a decisive fifth set, before Trinity went on a 17-5 run to book a trip to the national championship. 

The Tigers’ experience against elite opposition came into play as they were always able to pull away whenever it seemed like NYU was starting to come back.

Despite the loss, NYU’s elite group of outside hitters was particularly excellent this season, with sophomore Olivia Lewandowsk, senior Haley Holz and senior Gabriella Spaelthing all registering over 250 total kills. Holz led the team in points, kills and aces, and averaged over four points per set. She is set to come back next season to continue her career for the Violets.

Three Violets also earned AVCA All-America Awards, including Holz on the first team, sophomore libero/defensive specialist Lindsey Hirano on the second team and sophomore middle blocker Leela Anvekar on the third team.

Despite not winning the conference, the Violets’ hitting was among the best in the country, and they were tied for the best finish in program history since 2004.

Contact Pablo Ocariz at [email protected]