No. 7 New Paltz tops No. 9 Stevenson, Eastern Mennonite in tournament
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- No. 7 New Paltz (20-5) floored a total of 145 kills across two matches as it went 2-0 on the second and final day of the Stevenson Tournament on Saturday. The Hawks downed Eastern Mennonite 3-1 (29-27, 25-18, 24-26, 25-18) before edging No. 9 Stevenson 3-2 (26-28, 25-16, 25-16, 23-25, 15-12).
New Paltz finished the weekend 3-0 and beat a nationally ranked team for the eighth time this season.
Against Eastern Mennonite, the Hawks hit at a .373 clip compared to the Royals' .263, but Eastern Mennonite held an 8-7 edge in total blocks. New Paltz was hampered by 15 service errors but did land five aces.
Freshman middle blocker Christopher Husmann and sophomore setter John Lutjen paced the attack with 15 kills each, while junior middle blocker/right side Brian O'Connor floored 11 terminations. Lutjen and freshman setter/right side Christian Smith split the setting duties, with Lutjen doling out 32 assists and Smith dishing out 23. Smith and junior libero Victor Tuminelli tied for the team-high in digs with eight, while O'Connor posted four block assists.
For Eastern Mennonite, Chris Moise led the way with a match-high 17 kills, while Greg Knight chipped in with 12. John Barry handed out 40 assists and posted a match-high nine digs, while Kyle Storc tallied a match-high six total blocks.
New Paltz and Stevenson went wire-to-wire, and the Hawks' 13 kills in the fifth set ultimately lifted New Paltz to victory. The Hawks had a season-high 74 kills as a team and hit at a solid .305 clip. Stevenson held a 10-6 cushion in total blocks, while New Paltz collected 76 digs to the Mustangs' 64. Furthermore, the Hawks served up seven aces.
Four Hawks reached double-digit kill figures, with Husmann headlining the group with a match-high 18. Freshman outside hitter Tim Ferriter, Lutjen and Smith added 15, 14 and 10 terminations, respectively. New Paltz rotated between three setters, and junior setter Misa Garo led the way with 34 assists. Lutjen and Smith also achieved double-digit assist figures with 25 and 11, respectively. Tuminelli paced the back row defensively with 19 digs, while Garo pitched in with 15. Lutjen and Ferriter added 12 and 10 digs, respectively.
Lutjen achieved the coveted feat of posting a triple-double, as he finished with 14 kills, 25 assists and 12 digs.
For Stevenson, Kyle Wisner and Austin Jacoby ignited the attack with 17 and 13 kills, respectively. David Moler served as the team's primary setter and came away with 47 assists. Defensively, Adam Thatcher, Moler and Jon Martin reinforced the back row with 19, 15 and 13 digs, respectively, while Kyle Pottieger solidified the front row with six block assists.