BUFFALO, N.Y. – Playing in their first-ever North Eastern Athletic Conference postseason match, the Wells College men's volleyball team was defeated by D'Youville College in straight sets Saturday afternoon on the campus of Medaille College.
Wells concludes their fourth season as a varsity program with a 12-19 overall record after concluding conference play with an 8-6 record. D'Youville (14-14, 11-3 NEAC) will move on to play the host Mavericks of Medaille College in the NEAC Championship match this Sunday, Apr. 12 at 1 p.m.
After dropping a hotly-contested 31-29 opening set, the Express dropped the second set to D'Youville by a 25-13 margin before falling 25-21 to conclude the match. In total, the match saw 35 tied scores and 14 different lead chances, but D'Youville's offense combined to hit .211 on the match (44-20-114) while the Wells offense committed 23 attacking errors in 108 total chances.
Freshman Brannon Perdicho (Victor, N.Y.) racked up a team-best seven kills while classmate Jack Battumur (Denver, Colo.) led his team with 12 digs defensively. Freshman Scott Litvin (Sayville, N.Y.) set up 19 of his team's 26 kills while senior Paul Hernon (New Hartford, N.Y.) concluded his four-year career with a team-best .235 attacking percentage while chipping in with seven block assists.
Wells held a two-point lead on multiple occasions in the first set and had the Spartans on the ropes at one point, leading 20-18, to force a time out. The Express, however, had set point on six different occasions but were unable to put away the feisty D'Youville side. The Spartans captured the first set after hammering home a service ace before a Wells attacking error placed the Express in an early 1-0 hole.
Stunned by their lengthy battle in the first set, the Express offense crumbled in the middle stanza and committed 10 errors on 33 total attacks. D'Youville opened up a commanding 21-9 lead in the second set and never looked back, leading at one point by a 24-11 margin. A Wells attack error ended the second set with a 25-13 score.
Tied at 13 all in the third set, three-straight points by the Spartans gave D'Youville the lead for good. A kill by Matt Loos at match point officially ended the match, lifting the Spartans to the NEAC Championship only one season removed from a 5-19 season.