Baruch, Medgar Evers Prevail in Three Sets in First Round of CUNYAC Championship
FLUSHING, N.Y. (Apr. 9, 2019) - The 2019 CUNYAC/Pepsi Men's Volleyball Championship kicked off Tuesday night, with higher seeds preserving home-court advantage in their first-round matches. No. 3 seed Baruch swept sixth-seeded Brooklyn in three sets, while No. 4 seed Medgar Evers also needed the minimum to oust fifth-seeded John Jay. Baruch will next play No. 2 seed CCNY in a 6 p.m. semifinal on Friday at the Hunter Sportsplex, while top-seeded Hunter will host Medgar Evers at 4 p.m. The two semifinal winners will then advance to the final at 8 p.m. to play for the CUNYAC title and an automatic berth to the NCAA Division III Championship. That match will be carried to a worldwide audience on Facebook Live, via the CUNYAC's Facebook page. Baruch 3, Brooklyn 0 - Box Score The Bearcats made quick work of the Bulldogs, winning 25-10, 25-16 and 25-12, to advance to Friday's semifinal round at Hunter College. "It was a good effort by our team and we are taking it one match at a time," said Baruch Head Coach Kevin Edwards. "Now it is time to focus on CCNY for another big match in the semifinals." The Bearcats took control early in the match, pounding out 36 kills for a .277 hitting percentage. The Bulldogs only notched 18 kills and hit at a -.011 clip. Senior outside hitter Nicholas Godino stuffed the stat sheet with 13 kills, 10 digs, four blocks and two aces in his final match at ARC Arena. Freshman setter/right-side hitter Stallone Shankar dished out 22 assists and sophomore middle hitter/middle blocker Meni Musheyev had another big effort in front of the net with seven blocks. Senior setter Sayuj Zachariah led Brooklyn with 15 assists, as the Bulldogs rounded out their season with a 10-13 record. Medgar Evers 3, John Jay 0 - Box Score The Cougars defeated the Bloodhounds in straight sets (25-23, 25-23, 28-26). It will be their first appearance in the CUNYAC semifinals since 2005. The first set was close the entire way, with the Cougars opening the largest lead of the set for either team at 21-17. John Jay was able to storm back and tie the score at 22-all, before two kills by Enmanuel Jaquez and a fortunate Bloodhound attack error enabled Medgar to put the first set away, ensuring that it would not face a 2-0 set deficit as MEC did in the first meeting of the season. The second set required somewhat more effort from the Cougars, as they fell behind 18-13. The score was soon tied at 18-18, after three John Jay errors, as well as a kill and an ace from Nius St. Clair. With the score even at 22-apiece, Medgar Evers rose to the occasion and finished off the set with two more kills from St. Clair. There was the sense throughout the Cougars Cave that the match would be soon over, as the Cougars took a 19-13 lead in the third set. However, the Bloodhounds sniffed out an opportunity and fought back to grab a 23-22 lead. The Cougars would respond themselves and squander match points at 25-24 and 26-25, before finally finishing off the match in extra points at 28-26. "The guys really stepped up and rose to the occasion," said Head Coach Teresa Rodriguez. "The keys to success were their non-wavering and non-quitting spirit, mental toughness, and just really pushing it and really wanting it tonight." St. Clair led all players with 27 kills and a .550 hitting percentage. The freshman also added two blocks, four digs, and an ace. Jaquez posted a match-high nine digs and added seven kills, while Kareem Cyrus and Romell Carter totaled 19 and 13 assists, respectively. Cody Ramsey, Jovan Scott and Gerod Humphrey each contributed a match-best three blocks, as well.