Men’s volleyball team slip to second in CUNYAC before playoffs

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Denis Gostev | Baruch Athletics

Dani Heba, Copy Editor

The Baruch College Bearcats men’s volleyball team wrapped up its regular season with a 3-1 loss at the Hunter College Hawks on March 29, a sweep versus the Lehman College Lightning on March 31, but with two losses in the Vassar Tri-Match on April 2.

The Bearcats’ loss versus the Hawks at the Hunter Sportsplex on March 29 marked the team’s first and only loss of the regular season within the CUNY Athletic Conference, ending the team’s  11-game winning streak.

The game was competitive the whole way through, with each set except the second won by a margin of two points.

The Bearcats started off strong, winning the first set 25-23 and hitting at a .222 percentage, in comparison to the Hawks’ .094.

That ultimately was the Bearcats’ only set of the night.

The Hawks won the next set 25-19, with the Bearcats hitting at a -.062 percentage. The Hawks then took the next two sets by a 25-23 margin in both, hitting at a .053 and .273 percentage in each, respectively.

Jack Centeno led the way in kills and aces for the Bearcats, with 13 and three, respectively. Michael Higgins led the team with five blocks, and Stallone Shankar led the team in assists and digs with 29 and 12, respectively.

However, the men responded in dominant fashion on March 31 during Bearcats Appreciation Day, sweeping the Lightning 3-0 at the Arc Arena. The night started off honoring seniors Shankar and Justin Iloulian during their final regular season home game.

Shortly after, the game began. It was not close throughout the sweep, with the Bearcats blowing out Lehman, winning all but one set by double-digit margins.

In the first set, the Bearcats hit at a .286 percentage, in comparison to the Lightning’s .000 percentage, to win 25-14.

The next set saw the Bearcats win 25-18, hitting at an excellent .379 percentage in comparison to the Lightning’s .107 percentage.

To wrap up the night, the Bearcats won the third set 25-15, hitting at a .229 percentage in comparison to the Lightning’s -.167 percentage.

Centeno led the Bearcats in digs and kills, with 10 and 11 respectively. Stallone wrapped up his final regular season home game by leading the team in assists and aces, with 23 and 3, respectively. Higgins led the team in blocks with four.

The Bearcats dominated in all major statistical categories in the evening. They led the Lightning 55-17 in total points, 40-17 in total kills, 8-0 in total aces, 7-0 in total blocks, 40-17 in total assists and 42-39 in total digs.

Unfortunately, the Bearcats couldn’t carry the momentum  to the Vassar Tri-Match in Poughkeepsie, NY.

The men started the day with a 3-0 loss to the SUNY Poly Wildcats. They lost the sets 25-19, 2518 and 26-24, respectively. The Bearcats hit at a rough .037 percentage in the game.

Centeno led the team in kills with eight, while Stallone led the team in assists and aces with 20 and one, respectively. Akil Vaughn led the team with three blocks and Travis Golding led the team with 10 digs.

The team’s misfortunes continued against the Vassar College Brewers, with the men seeing another 3-0 loss. The Brewers also swept the Wildcats that day.

Centeno led the team in kills with seven, while Vaughn led the team in aces and blocks with one and three, respectively. Stallone led the team in assists with 14 while Wen Cheung led the team in digs with nine.

The Bearcats finish the regular season with a  11-1 CUNYAC record and a 13-12 overall record.

The Bearcats have the same record as the Hawks, however they finished the season in second place after allowing more points in their two regular season matches.

Normally, there are two first-round byes accorded to the top two teams in the CUNYAC standings. However, Medgar Evers College did not participate this season, due to an insufficient roster. As a result, there was only one first-round bye.

Thus, the Bearcats’ first-round matchup will be on April 5 at 6:00 p.m. versus the York College Cardinals (0-15, 0-12) at the Arc Arena.