Nov. 13, 2009

The New York University women's volleyball team, returning to the NCAA Division III Women's Volleyball Championship for the first time since 2006, made the most of its return with a 3-0 victory over the Polytechnic Institute of NYU on Thursday at the Coles Sports Center in Manhattan.

The Violets (29-9) had little trouble with the Fighting Blue Jays (25-10), who were appearing in their first-ever NCAA Championship. NYU scored the first six points of the match, never really let up, and went on to a convincing 25-15, 25-12, 25-14 victory.

The Fighting Blue Jays did manage their first lead of the match in the third set, taking four early two-point leads. However, with NYU trailing 8-6, the Violets scored the next eight points and 15 of the next 17 to dash any hopes of a Polytechnic comeback.

NYU, which earned an at-large bid to the tournament after finishing fourth in the University Athletic Association, now faces Christopher Newport University (34-6) on Friday.

"We entered the game without anyone on our squad having NCAA Tournament experience," said NYU head coach Ed Caesar. "Now everyone has NCAA experience."

Kendyl Dunn led the Violets with 11 kills. Mina Baban had 26 assists, Alexis Schwartz contributed 10 digs, while Elizabeth Dick and Alexa Carrasco had five and four service aces, respectively.

Meredith Shipman and Victoria Kalvert each had six kills for Polytechnic. Jacqueline Johnson led with 15 assists, while Shipman and Corey Loupee each had seven digs.

"Now that we''ve got a win under our belt, nerves shouldn't be a factor in our play tomorrow," Caesar suggested. "Hopefully, from here on it'll just be our skill level that determines how far we can go in this tournament."