NEW YORK -- Ninth-ranked New York University (2-1,1-0 United Volleyball Conference) kicked off UVC play with an incredible come from behind win against local rival No. 11 Stevens Institute (0-1, 0-1) at home in the Coles Sports Center in Manhattan.
After losing the first two sets by scores of 25-15 and 25-19, the Violets faced matched point at 25-24 in the third set. The team never panicked and relied on the steady play of senior captain setter Connor Mortland to keep them in the match.
Mortland doled out back-to-back assists to sophomore outside hitter Phil Bueno who had three kills on three hits in extra points. It was freshman outside hitter Chase Klein that put the set away at 30-28 with the last kill.
"It showed great character for the boys to dig deep and take that third set," NYU head coach Jose Pina said. "Stevens was playing very hard; we knew they weren't going to give anything to us. We had to take it."
After starting the night off with back-to-back errors, senior middle blocker Nick Capriccio went on an astounding streak by recording 11 kills in his next 12 attempts. Capriccio combined with the solid defensive play of junior libero Andrew Quirk and senior defensvie specialist Dylan Ramey kept the squad in the fourth set. Once again, the set went into extra points and once again the Violets were able to prevail, this time winning the set 26-24.
The fifth set was as competitive as the previous two, with both teams playing at an extremely high level. After many big hits and long points, NYU found itself once more facing match point. The team never wavered and went on to win the next three, as well as the set match (15-25, 19-25, 30-28, 26-24, 17-15).
No. 1 Springfield 3, Hunter 1
NEW YORK -- Senior Jimmy O'Leary posted 13 kills at a .750 clip to go along with a match-high seven blocks to guide Springfield to a four-set win at Hunter on Tuesday evening. Springfield won by the set scores of 25-21, 25-20, 23-25, 25-15.
The Pride were once again ranked No. 1 in the country in Tuesday's AVCA coaches' poll and have won four consecutive matches to improve to 4-3. The Hawks, playing in their home opener and against their fourth consecutive nationally-ranked team to begin the season, dropped to 0-4.
Springfield picked up its 30th consecutive win against a Division III opponent behind the outstanding play of O'Leary in the middle. Sophomore Luis Vega registered a match-high 15 kills and Keaton Pieper directed the attack with 50 assists and chipped in four blocks. Nick Ferry was credited with nine digs and Angel Perez notched 12 kills.
For the night, the Pride hit just .288 despite totaling 30 more kills in the match than the hosts. Springfield was hampered by 23 service errors, but benefited from limiting the Hawks to a .011 hitting percentage.
Matthew Ng paced the Hawks with 10 kills, and Nino Hot totaled eight kills of his own. Steven Tarquinio controlled the net with a team-best six blocks and Stanley Martinez handed out 21 assists.
Puerto Rico 3, No. 3 Juniata 2
HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Juniata fell 3-2 (15-25, 25-22, 25-23, 14-25, 15-6) to NCAA Division II opponent Puerto Rico on Tuesday night. The Eagles (5-1) recorded 28 team blocks, the highest single-match total in more than eight years with three individuals finishing with seven or more blocks.
Sophomore Carlos Faccio spread the Eagles offense out for most of the match. Six hitters finished with at least five kills as he collected a career-high 27 assists. As a team, Juniata's hitting percentage increased as the match went on, recording only three errors in set three.
Sophomore Chad Albert continued his dominating performance, earning a team-high eight kills and match and career-high 12 blocks. He and freshman Kyle Seeley controlled the middle. Seeley pounded down seven kills on nine flawless swings earning a career-best .778 hitting percentage and added seven blocks of his own to the pot.
Juniata came out strong in set one, picking up the quick win. But Puerto Rico rebounded to take the next two sets, despite the Eagles imposing net presence. With its back against the wall, Juniata pulled out the 25-14 win in set four hitting .385 as a team to force the deciding set. But a slow start hurt them as Puerto Rico pushed the final points of the match for the win.