Men’s volleyball falls to Rutgers-Newark in NCAA tournament

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Denis Gostev | Baruch Athletics

Dani Heba, Copy Editor

The Baruch College Bearcats men’s volleyball team was eliminated in the first round of the NCAA Division III Men’s Volleyball Tournament after being swept by the Rutgers-Newark University Scarlet Raiders on April 15.

In the Bearcats’ final game of the season at the Golden Dome, the Scarlet Raiders’ home court, Rutgers took the sets 25-17, 25-14 and 25-19..

The Scarlet Raiders started the match strong, hitting at a percentage of .417 with 13 kills and only three errors to win the first set.

The Bearcats struggled to compete with only nine kills and seven errors on 25 attempts for a .08 hitting percentage to end the first.

In the second set, the Bearcats landed only five kills with four errors on 25 attempts, hitting a .053 percentage, while the Scarlet Raiders landed 16 kills, three errors and 24 attempts for a .542 percentage to close off the set.

The third set was the nail in the coffin for the Bearcats. Despite hitting a good .545 percentage with 13 kills and one error on 22 attempts, it was no match for the Scarlet Raiders’ 16 kills and three errors on 24 attempts to advance to the second round.

The Scarlet Raiders outdid the Bearcats in every major statistical category. Rutgers-Newark led in total points 57-28, total kills 45-27, total aces 6-0, total blocks 6-1, total assists 43-24 and total digs 21-12.

Akil Vaughn, Jack Centeno and Haoxin Hu led the way in kills for the Bearcats, splitting six a piece for the night. Justin Iloulian had the Bearcats’ only block, while Stallone Shankar led the way in assists and digs for the Bearcats, splitting them at 20 and five, respectively.

Despite this disappointing outcome, the Bearcats had an excellent season.

The team had an overall record of 16-13, 11-1 in the CUNYAC, to tie for first place in the CUNYAC standings with the Hunter College Hawks.

The Hawks received the first seed for the purposes of bracketing due to having scored more total points on the season than the Bearcats, but that didn’t deter the Bearcats.

During the first round of the CUNYAC tournament, the Bearcats absolutely dominated the York College Cardinals, winning 3-0 and not allowing the Cardinals to score in double digits during any set.

In the second round, the Bearcats defeated the City College Beavers 3-0, in a competitive three sets despite the sweep.

The final round saw the Bearcats in a tight matchup with the No. 1 seed Hawks, but the Bearcats ultimately pulled through with a 3-1 win to claim the CUNYAC championship.

In addition to the championship win, the Bearcats’ Stallone Shankar, Jack Centeno and Akil Vaughn were voted to the CUNYAC All-Star First team, while the team’s Haoxin Hu was voted to the Second Team. Justion Iloulian was named to the All-Sportsmanship Team.

The Bearcats will look to move past the NCAA loss and carry the momentum from their 2021-22 CUNYAC championship run into preparing for another run next season.