BOSTON, Mass. – Junior Nick Benson (Litchfield Park, Ariz.) led the Violets with 18 kills to help No. 9 New York University rally past No. 14 Wentworth in a non-conference match at Tansey Gymnasium.
With the win, NYU improves to 6-3 on the season while the Leopards, who see their six-match win streak come to an end, fall to 12-3 with all three losses coming to nationally ranked foes.
Sophomore Jake Reed (Arvada, Colo.) led Wentworth with five kills in the opening set. Wentworth’s largest lead was five when the Leopards led 15-10. However, the Violets looked to close the deficit, with sophomore Chase Klein (Pacific Palisades, Calif.) earning two kills and a block to bring his team within one. The Leopards called a timeout and proceeded to grab five of the next seven points to make it 22-17. Wentworth took advantage of a pair of attack errors to go up 24-17, and finally ended the set with a kill by senior Sean Donahue (Lincoln, R.I.) to take the first, 25-18.
The Leopards opened the second set with five straight points. A kill by sophomore Alex Potts (Niverville, N.Y.) put Wentworth ahead 14-10 before NYU came back to tie it up at 17-all and would take a 20-17 lead. A kill from Klein put NYU ahead by a 24-20 score before back to back kills from Potts and Reed looked to start a Leopard comeback. However, Klein ended the set with yet another kill to take the set 25-22 and even the match.
Wentworth jumped ahead by seven points to start the third set, with Reed’s back-to-back service aces making the score 10-3. A kill by freshman Sean Mullen (Longwood, Fla.) gave the Black and Gold an eight-point lead. NYU put up five straight to come within three and the Violets would make things close when junior Phil Bueno (Edison, N.J.) recorded a block to make it 23-22 in favor of Wentworth. Freshman Jon Roat (Macedon, N.Y.) ensured the Leopards wouldn’t lose the set, as he earned a kill and block to win the set 25-22 and take a 2-1 lead.
Set four was the closest of the four, as neither side led by more than two points for the majority. With the score tied at 17-all, Wentworth scored three straight to lead 20-17. NYU came back to tie the match at 23-all and the teams would be tied at 24 and 25 before Wentworth took a 26-25 lead on a on a Potts kill. The Violets tied the set when Klein recorded a kill and would take a 28-26 win and force a fifth set after a block from sophomore Patrick Merrick (Yardley, Pa.) and a Leopard attack error.
The deciding set saw the visitors jump out to a 5-2 lead before three straight Leopard points evened the set at 5-all. A pair of attack errors gave NYU a 7-5 lead, however a service error and an attack error knotted the set at seven-all. A Benson kill gave the visitors an 8-7 lead at the changeover and began a run of three straight with Benson picking up two block assists as well. Wentworth made it a 10-8 game when the Violets made a service error, however NYU would score five of the next six points and closed out the match on a kill from Klein.
In addition to his 18 kills, Benson had three aces. Klein had 11 kills, three aces, and three blocks, while junior Colin LaPorte (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) had 10 kills and two blocks. Merrick had five blocks and 45 assists, senior Andrew Quirk (Laguna Nigel, Calif.) had 12 digs, and Bueno had six kills and six blocks.
Reed has 22 kills, two aces, and three blocks, and hit .415 for the match. Mullen had eight kills, three aces, and four blocks, Potts had eight kills and six blocks, senior Sean Donahue (Lincoln, R.I.) had eight blocks, and sophomore Collin Ritter (Feeding Hills, Mass.) had 39 assists, nine digs, and six blocks.
Wentworth resumes Great Northeast Athletic Conference play Monday night at Johnson & Wales while NYU is at Emmanuel tomorrow.