No. 3 Stevens sweeps No. 15 New Paltz
PremDas contributes 15 kills to Ducks third consecutive sweep
HOBOKEN, N.J. – Senior SteFan PremDas hit a match-best .565 with a team-high 15 kills as the Stevens Institute of Technology men’s volleyball team swept its fourth consecutive United Volleyball Conference opponent, downing visiting No. 15 SUNY New Paltz 3-0 (25-20, 25-23, 28-26) at Canavan Arena. With the win, the third-ranked Ducks, who have not dropped a set since its match with Division I Harvard on February 12, improved to 12-3 overall on the year with a 5-1 league record, while the Hawks fell to 9-8 and 2-4 in UVC play.
Trailing 10-8 early in the first, PremDas kick-started a 5-1 Ducks’ rally with a kill as Stevens took a 13-10 lead on a David Evans spike and a pair of Hawks’ errors. Down 17-14, New Paltz tallied two consecutive points, but sophomore Jake Modestow hammered home a kill to extend the Ducks’ margin to three.
The Hawks would pull back within two at 22-19, but seniors Timothy Karl and Jonathan Landis notched consecutive scores to up the Stevens lead to four, forcing a New Paltz timeout. Up 24-20, Modestow and Landis combined for a block to clinch a 25-20 first-set triumph.
Leading 5-4 in the second, freshman Ryan Seifert tallied a kill to start a 6-1 Stevens run that resulted in an 11-5 Ducks’ edge. Still down six at 13-7, New Paltz notched three unanswered points, before Seifert put away another kill to slow the surging Hawks.
Holding onto a three-point margin, PremDas tipped it over the New Paltz frontline, but Hawks’ junior middle blocker Kevin Stross tallied a kill of his own to help the visitors keep pace.
Minutes later, New Paltz would battle to within one at 19-18 before PremDas put down a kill to increase the advantage to two. Still down two after a Landis spike made it 24-22, New Paltz recorded the set’s next point to cut the Ducks’ cushion to one, before another Landis tally clinched Stevens’ 25-23 win.
Trying to stave off elimination, New Paltz raced out to an early 11-6 lead in the third set, forcing a Stevens stoppage. Down 13-7, the Ducks notched consecutive scores, before another Stross kill upped the Hawks’ lead to five.
Looking to make a run, PremDas put away a kill and a service ace to pare the Stevens deficit to four, but two-straight New Paltz points once again made it a six-point contest. Pulling within four at 20-16 after a Landis kill, the Ducks tallied two more scores to make it a two-point contest.
New Paltz junior opposite hitter Mike Van Tyne extended the Hawks’ margin to three at 22-19 before a PremDas kill and ace quickly sliced into the deficit. With the set knotted at 24, Hawks’ senior Keith MacDonald notched a go-ahead kill, but a New Paltz error pulled the Ducks back even.
PremDas then gave Stevens the lead at 26-25, but the Hawks quickly tied the set. Landis then tallied another kill before a PremDas spike clinched the 28-26 set victory.
Landis finished with 11 kills, hitting .350, while Karl added five kills on eight swings. Seifert had seven kills in the win, while Modestow added three kills and three blocks. Senior co-captain Brandt Grobeis finished with 36 assists and four digs while directing the Ducks’ attack.
Van Tyne paced New Paltz with 17 kills and four digs, while MacDonald had 11 kills and six digs. Stross hit .562 with nine kills and three blocks in the loss, with senior Andrew Cassius and freshman Misa Garo combining for 28 helpers.