HOBOKEN, N.J. – No. 10 New Paltz (20-13, 3-6 UVC) dream run through the United Volleyball Conference (UVC) Championship Tournament last weekend was not replicated in the first round of the North East Collegiate Volleyball Association (NECVA) Championship Tournament on Friday as the ninth-seeded Hawks fell, 3-0 (25-18, 25-18, 25-17), to the Stevens Institute of Technology (18-11).
The Ducks, ranked No. 13 in the most recent American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) national poll and seeded No. 8 in the NECVA Championship Tournament, had its offense clicking on all cylinders from the first set. The Ducks hit .480 in the first stanza and continued by hitting .333 in the second frame and .318 in the third. New Paltz was hurt by attack errors; the team committed 23 on the evening and had a hitting percentage of just .128. The Ducks also outperformed the Hawks on the front row defensively with 10.5 blocks to New Paltz’s two.
For Stevens, David Evans hit .429 (10 kills and one error in 21 total attempts) with Brandt Grobeis chipping in with 29 assists. Senior Jonathan Landis hammered home eight spikes, adding three blocks and a pair of digs. with freshman Ryan Seifert tallying six kills on a .364 attack rate. Aaron Ostrovsky kept rallies alive with a match-high 11 digs, and Jake Modestow had a match-high five blocks and four kills.
Senior outside hitter Keith MacDonald was the lone Hawk hitter to notch double-digit figures in kills (11), while junior opposite Mike Van Tyne floored eight. Senior setter/opposite Jakub Chleboun enjoyed a solid defensive match with nine digs and senior setter Andrew Cassius (Brooklyn, N.Y.) handed out 30 assists.
In the inaugural UVC Championship Tournament, the Hawks were runners-up, advancing to the finals as a No. 7 seed in an eight-team tournament. With the victory, the Ducks advance to the quarterfinals of the tournament to take on top-seeded Nazareth College.