AURORA, N.Y.– A dominating third set wasn't enough as the Wells College men's volleyball team dropped a four-set match to SUNY Poly at home on Senior Day. The Express falls to 10-19 overall and to 6-10 within the conference, SUNY Poly moves to 18-10 (11-4 NEAC).
SUNY Poly took the first two sets with scores of 25-22 and 25-23 before the Express took the third set 25-8. SUNY Poly came back and took the fourth set with the score of 26-24.
Sophomore Brannon Perdicho (Victor, N.Y.) led the Express with 13 kills while junior Liam Kaylor (Falls Church, Va.) added 11 kills, committing only two errors on 20 attempts, hitting an impressive .450 at the net. Rounding out the attack, senior John Farruggia (New Hartford, N.Y.) added 10 kills, with the three registering 34 of 43 total kills. First year Ryan Turner (Liverpool, N.Y.) had 6 of the team's 14 blocks while senior J.J. Podczasy (Macungie, Pa.) racked up a team best 11 digs and senior Derek Nipps (Turnersville, N.J) tallied 27 out of the team's 43 total assists.
Both teams exchanged points during the first set, with a kill by Nipps tying up the score at 17-17. SUNY Poly took four of the next five points. Back-to-back kills by Nipps and Perdicho then brought the score to 21-20. SUNY Poly tallied two kills and one Wells attacking error bringing match point. Perdicho hammered down another kill but it wasn't enough as SUNY Poly was able to seal the set 25-22.
The second set was more of the same, with both teams exchanging the lead. With the score tied up at 21-21, a SUNY Poly timeout and three straight kills by the visitors proved to be enough to win the set 25-23.
Wells came back in a big way, dominating the third set. They jumped ahead right away, going on a seven point run from a 1-1 game, bringing the score to 8-1. With the score 14-6, the Express went on another run, scoring six more points before the visitors scored again, and closed out the game with a 5-2 run, registering two aces, one by Farruggia and another by Perdicho for set point. The Express committed only one attack error and racked up seven kills while SUNY Poly hit in negative figures, registering 13 errors on 36 attemps.
A nail biting close fourth set fell in the favor of the visiting SUNY Poly, 26-24. SUNY Poly held the lead in the set until Wells was able to tie it up 16-16 on a Perdicho kill. SUNY Poly pulled away again, but another Perdicho kill tied up the game again at 24-24. Following a SUNY Poly timeout, Wells committed an attack error setting up match point for the visitors and leading to a Poly kill that would take the match. Perdicho registered six kills and two service aces while Farruggia racked up five kills in the set.
Max Szuba led SUNY Poly with 15 kills with A.J. Davids adding 14. Brian Malsan registered 15 digs and Zach Goggin tallied up 42 of the team's total 47 assists.
In a pre-match ceremony, seniors Farruggia, Nipps, and Podczasy were recognized, alongside their friends and family. Head Coach Richard Gary reflected on their progress as a unit in his speech, noting the efforts of all three in helping Wells field its first-ever NCAA Division III men's volleyball team.
The Express return to action Saturday, Apr. 2 as they travel to Poughkeepsie, N.Y. for a 1:30 PM game against Mt. St. Vincent and a 4 PM game against host team Vassar College.