Nov. 13, 2010

Courtesy of New York University Athletics

NEW YORK - The New York University women's volleyball team displayed its wares as the top seed by cruising to a 3-0 win over Westfield State University in the opening round of the NCAA Division III New York Region Championship on Friday, November 12, at the Coles Sports Center.

Having earned the #1 seed and its second straight NCAA at-large tournament bid, NYU (36-5) had little difficulty in defeating Westfield State (20-13) 25-10, 25-9, 25-18 to advance to Saturday's semifinal vs. Clarkson University.

The Violets raced out to a 13-2 lead in the first set and were never seriously challenged.

The Owls stayed close early in the second set, but NYU broke a 3-3 tie with a 4-0 run. After Westfield State pulled with three at 8-5, the Violets went on a 12-1 streak to put the set out of reach.

The third set was closer. Westfield State took its first lead of the night by scoring the first two points and led 13-11 after an NYU attack error.

However, the Violets scored the next four points and never trailed again. Beth Fionda's kill ended the match and catapulted NYU into the semifinals.

"I thought it was a great way to start the tournament," said interim head coach Chris Pinto. "We came out strong and never really let up. However, we'll need to keep that focus and intensity if we want to continue to advance."

Violets Sally Downs and Erin McLaughlin tied for match-high honors with nine kills each. Alexis Schwartz tied a match high with 10 digs, while Mina Baban recorded a match-best 31 assists.

The Owls' Alyssa Stankowski also had 10 digs. Alex Shaw led Westfield State with eight kills, and Kerin DeGirolamo had a team-high 20 assists.

NYU will face Clarkson, a 3-1 winner over Hunter College, on Saturday at 7:00 pm.