York Men's Volleyball Rallies From Two Sets Down to Advance to the CUNYAC Semifinals
For the third consecutive season, the York College men’s volleyball team has advanced to the semifinals of the CUNY Athletic Conference Championships, thanks to a thrilling come-from-behind victory over rival CCNY in the quarterfinals Tuesday. York overcame a 2-0 deficit to win by a score of 3-2 (21-25, 19-25, 25-22, 32-30,17-15).
With the win, York now advances to play #1 Baruch College in the semi-finals on Friday at Baruch beginning at 6:00 p.m. The semi-final winners will play in the championship game at 8:00 p.m. that evening.
The Cardinals started off playing sloppy as they hit just .077 and -.030 in the first and second sets respectively. The Beavers took advantage and took the first two sets with relative ease. It appeared it would be a short night for the Cardinals but York regrouped in the third set, winning 25-22 to force a fourth set.
It was in the fourth set where things got interesting. With York leading 24-23, the two teams began to go back-and-forth, exchanging blows and trading set points. After CCNY fought off 1 of 5 York set points and tied the score at 28-28, Nicholas Siriban slammed a kill to give the Beavers match point. However, a kill by York’s Ahmd Helmi and then an ace from Helmi put York up 30-29. The Beavers fought off one more set point before a Helmi kill and then an attack error by CCNY gave York a 32-30 victory in the fourth set.
The fifth set was just as close as the fourth. CCNY looked poised to take the match when a Johnson Ho kill gave the Beavers an 11-8 advantage. However, three straight points from York knotted the score up at 11-11. A few points later, a service error by York set up match-point for the Beavers (14-13) but York held strong and fought off the point thanks to a kill from Jhonnattan Fernandez. Two points later, senior Alex Niles—who was playing in his final home game at York—slammed a kill to set up match-point for York. On the ensuing point, Helmi once again came through with a kill to give York the match.
“I want to thank the players for their great defense,” said head York head coach Andre Titus. “Defense really makes the game. Our game is the defensive game. If we can continue to do that we are going to give some teams trouble.”
Helmi finished with a team-high 25 kills, 13 digs and five aces. Alex Niles slammed a season-high 20 kills and had a hitting percentage of .432. Fernandez finished with nine kills and three blocks and Terrence Sutton added six kills and five digs. Setter Kenan Kajtezovic added a career-high 57 assists.
The Beavers were led by Ng who recorded a match-high 27 kills to go along with eight digs. Siriban added 16 kills. York improves to 15-19, while CCNY drops to 10-22.
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