NYU Stuns Juniata in Five, Advances to EIVA Quarterfinals

4/16/2008

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Huntingdon, Pa. - Four players recorded double-digit kills and the team hit a combined .350 as The New York University men's volleyball team stunned host Juniata College 3-2 in the first round of the EIVA Tournament on Wednesday, April 16, in Huntingdon, PA.

The win, which was the first for the Violets in Huntingdon since 2000, advances NYU to the EIVA Tournament Quarterfinals for the first time in program history. It was also the first time a Hay Division team defeated a Tait team in the history of the Tournament.

The Violets (22-7), ranked #5 in the final CBS College Sports Network/AVCA Division III Men's Coaches Top 15 Poll of the 2008 season, traded points with the #4 Eagles (10-15) through most of game one. However, with the score knotted at 22, Juniata went on a 8-2 run to take the game 30-24.

NYU started game two slowly, falling behind 6-3. The team quickly rallied though, reeling off seven of the next eight points to take the lead. The two teams again traded points until late in the game when senior Willy McFarland notched three straight kills to help secure the game for the Violets 30-25.

Game three saw NYU take a small lead from the outset. Juniata closed the lead later in the game and eventually tied it a 24. The game stayed tied until 28-28 when senior tri-captain Devin Zolnowski reeled off two of his 12 kills to secure the game at 30-28.

In game four Juniata took a lead from the outset and watched it grow, eventually taking the game 30-24 to tie the match 2-2.

In game five NYU quickly found itself down 5-3. Out of the NYU time-out the team righted the ship with a kill by Zolnowski and a key solo block from sophomore Eric Chakeen. After another block from Chakeen and freshman Francis Hodgson Juniata was forced to take a time-out of its own. After ties at 6-6 and 7-7, NYU took the next three and never looked back, taking the final game 15-12.

"It was a great win for our team and the program," said head coach Jose Pina. "Being the first Hay team to win a playoff game and to do it against Juniata makes it extra special."

Leading the way on offense was senior tri-captain and All-American Jonathan Wintermeyer. The middle put down a team-best 18 kills and hit .467 while adding two digs and four blocks.

Fellow All-American Hodgson also had a strong match, putting down 13 kills while hitting a team-best .480 and adding five blocks.

McFarland had a career-match, notching 14 kills and hitting .400 while also adding six digs.

Junior setter Ilan Goldstein ran a strong offense, putting up 60 assists while adding two kills, four digs and three blocks. Goldstein also set a personal milestone, eclipsing the 2,000 assist plateau for his career.

The Violets will now return to the court this Saturday when they return to Pennsylvania to take on fourth-seeded St. Francis University at 7:00 pm.

Article courtesy of NYU athletics.

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