The UR volleyball team finished a busy weekend with three wins, two on Friday, Oct. 26 and a third on Saturday, Oct. 27, when they traveled to New York City for the New York Regional Challenge at New York University. After beating both Mount Saint Vincent College and Clarkson University, the ’Jackets fell to Stevens Institute of Technology before closing out the weekend over Mount Saint Mary’s University.
Friday’s first match against Mount Saint Vincent was a comfortable win for UR, as the team took the match in straight sets. Junior middle blocker Savannah Benton, who was named to the all-tournament team, led the way with 12 kills, while senior right side Meghan Neff was right behind her with 11 of her own.
“Savannah was a consistent presence in the middle both blocking and attacking and played probably her best weekend overall this season,” UR head coach Ladi Iya said.
Against Clarkson, the ’Jackets dropped the first set 17-25, but were able to fight back and eventually win 15-11 in a decisive fifth set.
“[Senior] right side Alma Guevara was nearly flawless attacking in our match against Clarkson, leading with 14 kills,” Iya said.
Sophomore setter Xiaoyi Li also competed, recording a team-leading 43 assists. Neff and Benton continued to perform strongly, tying for the team lead in blocks with four each.
On Saturday, the ’Jackets displayed a fighting spirit in their loss to Stevens Tech, coming back from two sets down to bring the match to a final set, which they would eventually lose 15-10.
Despite the loss, Rochester would bounce back to handily beat Mount Saint Mary’s in three sets. Senior outside hitter Kelly Mulrey, also named an all-tournament player, recorded a match-high 11 kills while senior defensive specialist Lauren Bujnicki led the way with 14 digs.
“The New York State Regional Challenge was a great opportunity for the team to compete before going into our conference championship next weekend and also to see how we really stack against some very good teams,” Iya said.
“It was wonderful to see great play going into our conference tournament.”
UR kicks off University Athletic Association (UAA) Conference Championship play on Friday, Nov. 2 against Washington University in Saint Louis in Atlanta, Ga.
Shapiro is a member of the class of 2016.