No. 3 New Paltz Squeezes by No. 11 Men’s Volleyball

UNION, N.J. (2/23/17) – The first two sets went overtime as the No. 3 SUNY New Paltz men's volleyball team got by No. 11 Kean University in non-conference action on Thursday.

The first two sets were tight, dramatic affairs before the New Paltz took charge of the third to earn the sweep. The Hawks are now 16-3, while Kean moved to 11-6.

Click here to see highlights from Thursday's match

The first set was tied at 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12 and 13 before Kean's Dylan Flor went on a four-serve run that gave Kean its largest lead. There was an emphatic block by Shayron Taylor and Steven Zarzycki along with an ace by Flor in that spurt.

On cue, the defending national champions came out of a timeout and rallied for three-straight points of their own to knot the match at 16 and again at 17, 20, 21 and 23. Kean forced extra points in the set despite being held to a .000 attack percentage, but fell 26-24.

The Cougars posted some big highlights early in the second set. Taylor pounded one, Zarzycki (pictured left) and Warner had big blocks and Jacob Kauffman pumped a few kills into the floor. The Cougars led by as many as five, but New Paltz came back to tie at 19.

Kean had an answer with three-straight points – including a kill by Flor – but the Hawks countered with three-straight of their own to knot the set again at 22. It took extra points to settle it, but the Hawks prevailed again. This time, the count was 29-27. Kean improved its hitting to .259 in the second set, but New Paltz ratcheted themselves all the way to .423 as a team.

The Hawks raced out to a 5-0 lead in the third and never looked back on their way to a 25-11 triumph. Anthony Bonilla had 10 kills and hit .467 in the match to lead the Hawks offense.

Nick Breslin and Kevin Barrow led the Cougars with five digs each, and Barrow handed out a team-high 18 assists as well. Nico Mercadante hit 1.000 in another highlight for the Cougars.

Kean will have a week off before hosting Hunter College on March 1 at 7 p.m.