Top-ranked New Paltz State sweeps No. 2 Juniata, Thiel at Vassar tri-match
POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. -- New Paltz State bounced back with a pair of wins Saturday following a five-set loss to No. 6 MIT from earlier in the week, as the Hawks beat No. 2 Juniata and Thiel at a non-conference tri-match hosted by Vassar at Kenyon Hall.
New Paltz downed Juniata 3-0 (25-20, 25-21, 25-22), before knocking off Thiel 3-0 (25-17, 25-20, 25-21).
The Hawks rise to 15-2 overall and Juniata drops to 16-3 overall.
No. 1 New Paltz 3 State, No. 2 Juniata 0
New Paltz continued its dominant run hitting and serving against the Eagles, fashioning a .333 hitting percentage while landing eight aces from the service line. Juniata hit relatively well (.243) but was only able to floor three aces.
A 5-0 Hawk run in the first set wound up being the difference in the frame. With Juniata up 9-8 New Paltz got the serve back after a service error, and two Eagle attacking errors and one Hawk service ace set the stage for a run-capping termination by sophomore setter Christian Smith. While Juniata scored the next three points, it was unable to hold the serve for consecutive points down the stretch, and New Paltz won the first frame 25-20.
In the second set, the Eagles hopped out to a 6-4 lead, which was reversed with a 4-0 Hawk spurt that prompted a Juniata timeout. Juniata got the lead back and went up by one (13-12) after a kill by junior outside hitter Justin Waldorf. The Hawks then scored four consecutive points, and a service ace by sophomore outside hitter Tim Ferriter gave New Paltz a 16-13 lead. Juniata did come within two points late (23-21) after a kill by junior opposite Alex McColgin, but back-to-back kills from sophomore middle blocker Christopher Husmann and senior outside hitter Brian Smith spelled out the final set score of 25-21.
New Paltz never trailed in the third set, but the Eagles made a strong push late. Down 23-19, Juniata scored three of the next four points, and a McColgin kill staved off match point and drew the Eagles within two. Following a Juniata timeout, the Eagles served the ball into the net, and the Hawks completed the straight-set sweep against the No. 2-ranked team in Division III.
Ferriter led a balanced New Paltz offense with 10 kills, while Christian Smith added nine and hit .467. Junior setter John Lutjen and Christian Smith dished out 18 and 16 assists, respectively, while Brian Smith came up with eight digs.
For Juniata, McColgin led the way with 13 kills and a .385 hitting percentage, while sophomore setter Matt Elias handed out 24 assists.
No. 1 New Paltz 3 State, Thiel 0
New Paltz's attack cooled off slightly against Thiel, but a .295 clip combined with six service aces was enough to handle the Tomcats. Thiel did, however, finish with an 8-4 margin in total team blocks.
The Hawks led early in the first set and used a pair of 4-0 runs midway through it to cruise to the victory in the frame. The last four-point spurt -- which was capped off by a Christian Smith ace -- gave New Paltz a 19-11 lead. The Hawks won the first set 25-17.
Thiel challenged New Paltz in the second, going point for point with the top-ranked Hawks until New Paltz opened up a 24-17 lead following a 4-0 scoring spree that ended with a Lutjen termination. While the Tomcats scored the next three points, Ferriter floored a kill to give the Hawks a 25-20 triumph in the second stanza.
The third set went similarly to the second, but two 3-0 New Paltz runs proved too much to overcome. With the score at 21-20 in favor of the Hawks, that second spurt came at the timeliest of moments, as Lutjen brought up match point at 24-20 with a kill. Junior middle hitter Michael Whitelock scored off a kill for Thiel before Brian Smith countered with a termination of his own to end the match.
Ferriter hit .667 with 16 kills and just two errors in 21 total attempts, while Lutjen and Christian Smith distributed 21 and 17 assists, respectively. Senior libero Victor Tuminelli finished with 16 digs to lead the back row defensively.
For Thiel, Whitelock's seven kills led the attack, while junior setter Charlie Tindall provided 11 assists. Junior opposite John Turner and senior middle hitter Evan Proksell each finished with four block assists.