Hunter Defends CUNYAC Title; Defeats Baruch, 3-1

Hunter Defends CUNYAC Title; Defeats Baruch, 3-1

New York, NY – For the second straight year, the Hunter men's volleyball team () defeated the Bearcats of Baruch College in the CUNYAC Championship and secured their spot in the NCAA Tournament in the process by a score of 3-1. Despite dropping the first set, 25-23, the Purple and Gold rallied and swept the next three, 25-19, 25-18, 25-21.
 
Ben Crusinberry matched counterpart Stephen Roach for a game high 16 kills while Brandon Kohler slammed home 12 of his own. Tournament MVP Steven Tarquinio added 14 kills and a game high five assists in the win. Nicolas Sanchez tallied a game high 50 assists; one shy of his career high while Joseph Muir also recorded a game high with 22 digs. The team combined for 60 kills, a .299 hitting percentage and just 20 errors; marks that are all better than Baruch.
 
The Hawks quickly jumped out to a 4-1 lead and then led by four at the 12-8 mark, but it was erased after a 6-2 Baruch run. Crusinberry put his team back on top with a kill to make it 22-21, and then a kill by Sanchez brought the game even at 23 apiece, but Baruch secured the final two points to take the early 1-0 lead.
 
With help from four Baruch errors and two Kohler kills, the Purple and Gold found themselves with the early 6-2 advantage. Hunter used the cushion to stay out in front the entire way as Michael Jazgarski made it a seven point lead at 20-13 with a successful kill. A block by Tarquinio and Crusinberry made it point game right before Tarquinio slammed home the 25th point to level the playing field 1-1.
 
The third was highlighted by 10 ties by the time the scored reached 12-12. The Hawks used a 5-2 run bookmarked by kills from Tarquinio to open up the gap and give his team the boost they needed to pull away. After leading by three at 21-18, the Purple and Gold ripped off four unanswered points to go ahead 2-1.
 
In the fourth and final set, Austin Voges' squad fell behind from the get-go and faced a 6-4 deficit. However, a Bearcat service error sparked six straight Hunter points, turning the two point hole into a three point upper hand. However, their counterparts stayed within striking distance and pulled even at 19-19. Kohler started and capped the 6-2 run over the homestretch to secure his team's second straight CUNYAC title and earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament.
 
Along with Tarquinio being named the Tournament MVP, both Muir and Crusinberry were named to the All-Tournament team.
 
The Hawks will have to wait and see who their next opponent will be as it will be revealed on the NCAA selection show set for Monday, April 17 at 10am at NCAA.com.