Lasers Overtake Bearcats in straight sets
Head Coach Jeff Vautrin’s team got off to a hot start, leading the Bearcats 5-0, but coming out of a timeout, Baruch was able to gain momentum and take a 9-8 lead.
After a back-and-forth battle in which the Bearcats had multiple opportunities to take the lead, sophomore Theo Zaharewicz earned a kill to win the set for Lasers. The first win set the tone for the rest of the match.
In the second set, the Bearcats got off to a better start, tying the game up at seven a piece. But after a 12-7 Lasers run, Baruch’s head coach, Alexander Moule, was forced to use a timeout. A few points later, the Lasers found themselves in a prime position to take the second set thanks to a big kill by sophomore opposite hitter Jordan Shinaut.
Similar to the first set, the Lasers were able to get off to a strong start in the third set, leading the Bearcats 5-1. Unfortunately for the boys in white and Carolina blue, that lead would not hold up, as the Bearcats stormed back to tie the game 7-7.
Despite several instances of poor communication, the Lasers were able to withstand the Bearcats’ push. And thanks to a massive slam by Carter Phillips, the Lasers went up by four.
Phillips was just getting started. After another kill and an impressive block, the Lasers found themselves in the driver’s seat, leading 18-12.
Returning from another Bearcats’ timeout, the Lasers kept their foot on the gas, as first-year outside hitter Jasper Schultz put down a perfectly placed ace on the floor of the Athletic Center.
Helping the Lasers seal the deal were Shinaut and Zaharewicz, who earned their 8th and 14th kills, respectively. Meanwhile, sophomore libero Alex Weinhaus finished the game with five digs, giving him a total of 16 in his last two games and an opportunity to win libero of the week.
After the game, Zaharewicz said in an interview that the team played well, but thought there were some things the team could clean up, such as tip coverage and serves. Meanwhile, the 6-8 outside hitter made sure to highlight the play of Shultz, who says his “defense was really good [despite] playing through some pain today.”
After their 3 p.m. game vs #1 Stevens, the Lasers will play their next game against Emerson College on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.