ELMIRA, N.Y. – Taking on back-to-back nationally-ranked opponents, the Wells College men's volleyball team posted losses to No. 11 Elmira College and No. 5 Nazareth College Friday evening. Wells exited play this weekend with a 6-11 overall record following the non-conference slate.
Elmira, ranked 11th in NCAA Division III according to the most recent AVCA Division III Men's Volleyball Top-15 poll, dispatched the Express in straight sets (25-20, 25-21, 25-17) before Nazareth, the fifth-ranked team, set down Wells in four sets (25-15, 27-25, 22-25 and 25-16).
Against the host Soaring Eagles, sophomore Brannon Perdicho (Victor, N.Y.) racked up a team-leading nine kills while junior Liam Kaylor (Falls Church, Va.) was second with seven kills. Senior Derek Nipps (Turnersville, N.J.) tallied 19 assists while contributing with a team-leading seven digs on defense. Perdicho and Kaylor each scooped up six digs on defense, trailing Nipps for the team lead.
Wells, who hit in negative figures in the opening set against Elmira, responded with a strong second set that saw 16 kills and only five attacking errors for a .367 hitting percentage. The Soaring Eagles, however, did not hit lower than .200 in any of the three sets en route to the sweep – collectively, Elmira posted 41 kills and as many digs.
The Express captured a third set victory against the fifth-ranked team in the nation after narrowly losing the second set. Perdicho led Wells with 10 kills while Nipps turned in nine kills with only one attacking error on 12 attacks. Senior John Farruggia (New Hartford, N.Y.) posted eight kills while adding four digs on defense. Nipps' 27 assists led the team while senior J.J. Podczasy (Macungie, Pa.) contributed seven digs to the defensive effort.
Nazareth ultimately pounded 56 kills in the match, hitting .327 after committing only 21 errors on 107 total attacks. The Golden Flyers also saw 48 total assist on the match and 30 digs, hitting .440 in two separate sets to down Wells.
In what will be a key North Eastern Athletic Conference match, the Express will take on SUNY Poly this Tuesday, Mar. 1 at 7 p.m. in Marcy, N.Y.