Ninth-ranked New Paltz State rallies in fourth set to defeat No. 8 Baruch
NEW PALTZ, N.Y. -- No. 9 New Paltz State (7-0) notched an nonconference victory against eighth-ranked Baruch (5-1) on Thursday at the Hawk Center. The Hawks prevailed 3-2 (25-21, 21-25, 23-25, 27-25, 16-14). New Paltz trailed 24-21 in the fourth set with match point on the line, but the Hawks rallied to tie the score and eventually win the set.
Freshman outside hitter Tim Ferriter came up big for New Paltz, posting a double-double with 24 kills and 10 digs. Freshman middle blocker Christopher Husmann and sophomore setter John Lutjen helped out offensively, with 15 and 12 kills respectively, and Lutjen completed the double-double with 24 assists. Freshman setter Christian Smith also boasted 24 assists, and he recorded four block assists.
For Baruch, Nick Smith floored 21 kills, while Jack McKee and Martin Joksimovik added 12 and 11, respectively. Scott Standring played a well-rounded match, earning a double-double with 50 assists and 15 digs. Gabe Rivera and Taylor Higgs also notched double-digit dig figures with 13 and 11 digs, respectively. Joksimovik had seven block assists to pace the front row's defensive efforts.
New Paltz hit .248 for the match compared with Baruch's .220 clip, but the Bearcats served 10 fewer errors than the Hawks. Baruch also outblocked New Paltz by a 10-8 edge.
The first two sets were lopsided, with neither featuring a single lead change. The first went in New Paltz's favor, while Baruch countered in the second set.
New Paltz held the upper hand early in the third set, starting out with a 10-7 lead. Baruch rattled off three consecutive points to tie the score, and after each team sided out, the Hawks received points from a Ferriter kill and a junior middle blocker Dylan Rabidoux service ace to grab a 13-11 lead.
Baruch did not let New Paltz get into a rhythm heading into the final stretch, claiming a 23-20 advantage. Back-to-back points off Ferriter kills brought the Hawks within one at 23-22. Steven Coniglio pounded down a kill on the ensuing points to give the Bearcats a 2-1 cushion heading into the fourth set.
The Hawks found a rhythm in the fourth set as junior outside hitter Brian Smith registered a kill, and Baruch picked up an attacking error to pull New Paltz within one. Another Bearcat attacking error knotted the score at 24 and New Paltz gained a point advantage on Baruch with a B. Smith service ace. The Bearcats tied the score at 25, but back-to-back Ferriter kills solidified the Hawks' comeback, and forced a fifth set.
Baruch opened the fifth set with three consecutive points, which New Paltz matched immediately. Back-to-back Baruch kills gave the Bearcats a two-point lead, and they controlled the momentum heading into the turn, as McKee landed a kill to make the score 8-7 in favor of Baruch. The two teams traded points heading into the final stretch and the Bearcats led 12-11. Husmann tied it up at 12 with a kill, and after a McKee kill, Husmann answered again with a kill. Gabe Rivera brought up match point with a kill, but McKee misfired on an attack to knot the score at 14. A Rivera error gave the Hawks a 15-14 lead and B. Smith punctuated the match with a kill.