HUNTINGDON, Pa. – Sophomore Brannon Perdicho (Victor, N.Y.) led the Wells College men's volleyball team with 31 kills on Saturday – the Express fell to Marymount (Va.) and Juniata in four sets on the day. Wells (4-5) posted back-to-back 3-1 to the Saints (4-2) and the host Eagles (2-4).
Against Marymount, Wells fell via scores of 25-22, 24-26, 19-25 and 21-25. Juniata, receiving votes in the most recent AVCA Division III Men's Volleyball Poll, dispatched the Express 25-20, 18-25, 25-21 and 25-20.
Perdicho posted a team-leading 15 kills against the Saints while freshman Kody McCracken (Wellsboro, Pa.) was second with 12 kills to his credit. Classmate Ryan Turner (Liverpool, N.Y.), once again, was efficient with his attacks, posting 11 kills and committing only one error on 15 total swings. Senior Derek Nipps (Turnersville, N.J.) set up 39 kills and led the team defensively with eight digs.
Wells captured the first set against Marymount by a 25-22 score after opening up a 10-4 lead after a series of offensive miscues by the Saints. With the score tied at 19 later in the set, a Marymount service error preceded back-to-back miscues by the Saints on attack to give the Express momentum down the stretch. A McCracken kill, set up by Nipps, forced a time out and a Marymount service error came before a kill by Turner to put his team up by a 1-0 margin.
Marymount came right back, however, and took the second set by a 26-24 margin. With the score knotted up at 24, a kill from Marymount's Graham Clark and a key block by Erich Bratke on a McCracken attack proved to be the difference-maker. Both teams were tied at 17 in the third set, but the Saints pulled away after Wells committed seven errors down the stretch to capture a 2-1 lead.
Errors once again doomed Wells as Marymount captured the fourth and final set by a 25-21 score. Despite Wells hitting an impressive .385 after 14 kills and only four errors, the Saints dominated with a .522 mark after 15 kills and only three errors on 23 swings.
Versus Juniata, Perdicho hammered home 16 kills while McCracken posted 12 kills for the second-straight match. Nipps set up 34 kills while Perdicho led the way with seven digs defensively.
Juniata cruised to a 25-20 win in the first set but the Express rallied to take set two by a 25-18 score. With the score tied at nine, a Turner service ace sparked a stretch where Wells posted three of the matches' next four points. Ultimately, eight attacking errors in the set by Juniata allowed Wells to knot the score at one aside.
A McCracken kill brought Wells to within 22-19 in the third set, but Juniata answered right back with a kill that was followed by poor serving from both squads. Juniata took set point despite back-to-back service errors, using a Matt Vasinko kill to put the hosts up by a 2-1 margin.
Wells was down by as little as 20-18 late in the fourth set, but a Juniata kill preceded a bad set and an attacking error for Wells to put the match out of reach. A Perdicho kill kept the Express alive at 23-19, but two kills from the Eagles lifted them to a 3-1 win against Wells.
Kyle Seeley led Juniata with 20 kills. Ryan Shelton dished out 46 assists while Vasinko led the way with seven digs.
Wells will return to action next Saturday, Feb. 13 as it will take on Hilbert and D'Youville on the campus of Medaille College, beginning at noon.