Bears Volleyball Falls in HVMAC Semis, Urshela, Torres Named All-Conference
BRONXVILLE, NY – The St. Joseph's College (Brooklyn) men's volleyball team wrapped up their most successful season with a loss in the semifinals of the Hudson Valley Men's Athletic Conference Tournament, falling in straight sets to eventual champions Cooper Union, 3-0 (25-18, 25-23, 25-13).
Freshman Raul Urshela (Orlando, FL/Colonial) led the attack for the Bears putting down eight kills with a block assist. Urshela concludes his rookie campaign as the program leader in kills in a single-season with 141 and second in total blocks with 28. His outstanding play earned him a selection on the 2012 HVMAC All-Conference team, announced after the tournament completion, along with teammate Martin Torres (Ozone Park, NY/St. Francis Prep) who earned his third straight All-Conference nod and chipped in four kills in the match.
Cooper Union (7-4) was led by tournament MVP Andrew Tam who had nine kills. Max Kang had 11 assists, five aces and four kills. Sasha Kutznetov chipped in five kills.
In the opening set, the Hawks scored seven straight points to put the Bears in a 10-4 hole they couldn't climb out of. With Cooper Union leading 23-14, the Bears made a late run sparked by a pair of Morales aces, but fell 25-18.
The second set came down to the wire, with the Bears overcoming a 9-2 deficit to start the frame, to knot the set at 19-19. Both teams exchanged sideouts and the set remained tied at 23-23 with Cooper Union taking the final two points for the 25-23 set win. St. Joseph's had their best offensive set producing eight kills, three from Urshela and two from Morales and Torres, with only one attack error for a .389 hitting percentage.
St. Joseph's struggled in the final set, committing 10 attack errors helping the Hawks to an 84 percent sideout rate. Cooper Union jumped out to a 12-6 lead, prompting a St. Joseph's timeout, and carried into a 25-13 win for a spot in the championship game. Cooper Union would go on to upset regular season champions Yeshiva University, for the second straight year, in a four-set battle.
After a winless campaign in 2011, St. Joseph's concludes their season with a program-best record of 6 -13 and a .500 record in HVMAC play, securing third place finish in conference, the highest for the Bears in the three-year history HVMAC volleyball.