AURORA, N.Y. – Sparked by freshman Brannon Perdicho (Victor, N.Y.) and his program-record attacking percentage of .522, the Wells College men's volleyball team posted a 3-0 win against New Jersey City University before falling 3-0 to Penn St.-Behrend on Saturday within the Farenthold Athletic Wing. Wells will head into the upcoming North Eastern Athletic Conference playoffs with an overall record of 12-18.
Wells dispatched New Jersey City in straight sets (25-23, 25-23 and 25-22) before falling to Penn St.-Behrend via scores of 25-14, 25-22 and 25-18. The Express earned their first-ever win against the Gothic Knights and the Express fell to 0-4 all-time against the Lions.
Perdicho racked up 16 kills, the second-most in a single match for Wells, while committing only four errors on 23 total attacks against the Gothic Knights, posting a team record .522 hitting percentage. Junior John Farruggia (West Winfield, N.Y.) also reached double-digit kills for the Express with 12 to his credit. Sophomore Liam Kaylor (Falls Church, Va.) set up 34 of his team's 38 kills, setting a career-high mark. Defensively, freshman Jack Battumur (Denver, Colo.) and Farruggia each posted eight digs.
Wells put away the Gothic Knights in the first set after capturing a 24-20 lead following a Farruggia kill. New Jersey City would not go quietly, however, rallying to come within one point of the Express at 24-23, but a kill from sophomore Alex Battey (Palmdale, Calif.) lifted the hosts to the opening set victory.
The Express came from behind to win the second set, 25-23. Trailing by a 21-17 margin, a kill by senior Paul Hernon (New Hartford, N.Y.) preceded back-to-back kills from Perdicho to bring Wells within one. An attacking error by the Gothic Knights tied the score at 21, but both teams went on to trade kills to tie the score at 23. Wells then took advantage of two New Jersey City attacking errors to propel Wells to the 2-0 match lead.
Wells opened up a 20-13 lead in the third set but New Jersey City posted a strong comeback that forced an Express timeout, leading 24-21. Wells did boast a 24-16 lead, but five-straight points by the visitors forced the home team into the timeout. Coming out of the break, the Gothic Knights posted their second-straight service ace to shrink the Wells lead to 24-22, but a kill from senior Andy Jacobs (Millburn, N.J.) at match point clinched the win.
Penn St.-Behrend committed only 10 attacking errors all day en route to their sweep of the Express. In the first set, Wells boasted a 3-2 lead but allowed the Lions to open up a 14-4 lead that they could not overcome. The Express would not lead again for the remainder of the match as the Lions held advantages in kills (41-to-33), assists (38-to-31) and digs (38-to-31).
Saturday's slate of matches also marked the final home contests for four graduating student-athletes, including Hernon, Jacobs, Battey and senior Chris Tinozzi (Syracuse, N.Y.).
Wells will make their first-ever North Eastern Athletic Conference postseason appearance this Saturday, Apr. 11 as they face-off against D'Youville at 2 p.m. on the campus of Medaille College.