Nov. 13, 2010

Courtesy of New York University Athletics

The New York University women's volleyball team advanced to the NCAA Division III New York Region Championship Final by sweeping Clarkson University 3-0 (25-21, 25-17, 25-18) at NYU's Coles Sports Center on Saturday, November 13.

The Violets (37-5) will face Stevens Institute of Technology (34-5), a four-set winner over U.S. Coast Guard Academy, on Sunday at 4:00 pm with a berth in the tournament's Elite Eight on the line.

NYU last faced Stevens Tech in 2006. The Violets faced the Ducks three times that season, with the Violets posting victories in all three match-ups.

NYU start out sluggishly on Saturday, falling behind the Golden Knights (28-10) 4-1 in the first set. However, the Violets caught up at 5-5 and 13 ties ensued leading to a 21-21 deadlock. However, a kill by the Violets' Sally Downs spearheaded a set-ending four-point streak and NYU took the opener 25-21.

Though NYU started out the second set by taking a 3-0 lead, Clarkson grabbed an 8-7 advantage on an NYU attack error. Then, with the score tied 9-9, a 4-0 run gave NYU the lead for good. The Violets again ended the set with a 4-0 streak for the 25-17 victory.

In the final set, the Golden Knights again had an early lead. This time, NYU caught up midway through the set and then broke an 11-11 deadlock with another four-point run to secure the lead. The advantage kept increasing until the Violets ended the match 25-18.

"It took us a while to settle down, but the players stepped up and took care of business," said interim head coach Chris Pinto.

Erin McLaughlin had a match-high 15 kills for NYU, while Jessica Prepolec had 10. Mina Baban led all players with 40 assists, while Alexis Schwartz did likewise with 14 digs.

Sara Artus had a team-high 10 digs for Clarkson. Lani Durio had a team-high 25 assists, while Alison Schroeder led the Golden Knights 12 digs.

"Tomorrow, we'll need to bring our 'A' game if we want good things to happen," Pinto said. "We'll need to take care of our end of the court."