After losing five straight games since their season opening win against CSI, the CCNY Men’s Volleyball team made easy work of the Albertus Magnus Falcons Friday night In Harlem.
It was an impressive win for City as they rallied back after losing the opening set 25-21, winning the next three straight 25-19, 25-23 and 25-17.
“I feel good but it’s still not perfect…anyway, I’m happy with the win”, said head coach Andrijana Todorovic.
The Beavers were struggling coming into Friday night’s match. Prior to hosting the Albertus Magnus Falcons, the Beavers were flat, having posted a record of 2-9 in their last 11 sets.
The Hawks of Hunter College had swept the Beavers in three straight sets Wednesday night at Hunter College, as did the John Jay College Bloodhounds last Saturday.
Sophomore setter Oleksandr Boychuk turned in a sparkling performance with a career-best 32 set assists and three digs.
“We worked more on our defense and last week we didn’t have (Boychuck). Now he is back, so we can continue working on our game,” Todorovic added.
The first set started with the Falcons scoring on a sharp service ace and it was an early indication of what was to come. At the first time-out, Albertus Magnus was up 8-4, four points being scored by way of kills. The other four points were the result of sloppy play by the Beavers, who committed four errors before the first time-out and a total of 11 in the set.
City would come within one point of tying in the set, but that was the closest they would get. They played the entire first set in come-from-behind mode and eventually lost 25-21.
The tide changed in the second set as the Beavers began to heat up. At the first timeout of the second set, City had a lead of 12-8, sparked by the brilliant play of senior Anthony Reyes.
Reyes, who is currently ranked second in the CUNYAC in kills per set, had four kills at this point in the game. He would eventually go on to amass 23 Kills, 51 Total Attempts and nine Attack Errors, leading his team offensively and into victory.
“He’s our main attacker, Boychuk is the setter… (They are) the best two players on the team” said Coach Todorovic. “This is (Reyes) last season so I want him to play the best. That’s why I transferred him from the setter position to attacker.”
The Beavers would not surrender the lead for the entire second set and City would go on to win by six, a score of 25-19. After losing a fairly close first set, the momentum would shift in favor of the Beavers and they never looked back. The Beavers would sweep the next three sets from the Falcons to improve their record to 2-5 for the season.
“Tonight’s win, it feels amazing man! We had fallen into a few troubles, you know, lost a few games but now, we’ve picked it up as a team. We came back,” said junior middle blocker Leonel Pascual after the game.
When asked how he felt about the team snapping an abysmal five-game losing streak, Pascual enthusiastically responded, “Well, right now we’re just focused on what we can do to get better as a team. I know we fell…but we didn’t play our best. Today we felt strong. We lost the first set, we came back (and) we’re back to playing CCNY volleyball.”
Maybe, the CCNY Beavers have put up a damn that stops any more torrid losing streaks. Maybe, “playing CCNY volleyball” means no more playing relaxed and a lot more killer instinct that finishes matches and puts opponents away.
Todorovic’s main knock on her own team is that they play too relaxed.
“In the beginning of the games they come so relaxed, like they are going to win. But, no, you have to play to win. If they realize that they have quality, they can win…they have to feel that.”
These things remain to be seen, though. Next on the schedule for the Beavers is a double-header next Sunday at the Bradley Center in New Jersey. They will face the CSI Dolphins and the Ramapo College Road Runners. Let’s hope that these things will be seen, let’s hope for the best.