Union, NJ. –The Wells College men's volleyball team lost 3-0 to Kean University and then played to a tough 3-0 loss to CCNY on Saturday afternoon.
In the match against Kean, The Express (1-14) got 5 kills apiece from Paul Hernon and Caleb Mannix, and seemed to start each match well, trading points with a very strong Kean side for the first half of each set. Unfortunately, Kean proved too tough an adversary, as they would go on 5 and 6 point runs to finish each set.
Despite the loss, Coach Gary was pleased with parts of the match. "This is a very good Kean team who is leading their conference and looks very strong going into this NCAA's. Coming out here our goal was to simple: let them make us better. And that's exactly what happened. Paul (Hernon) went from a scoreless set to leading all scorers in the second with a couple of blocks, an ace, and some strong attacks. He became a leader in this match, which is something this young team needs more of if we're going to compete."
In the second match of the day the Express came very close to winning the first set, losing 25-27, and led the Beavers by as much as five, but CCNY was not to be denied. Despite great attacking from Caleb Mannix and Andy Jacobs, who combined for 22 of the team's 31 kills, and some excellent blocking from freshman MB Paul Hernon, the balanced attack from CCNY proved too much for the Express.
"The team's disappointment following this match showed a great transition in our season," said coach Gary after the loss. "Most of the year, we have been hoping to just compete, but this was a match the guys felt they could win, and they've taken this one tougher, because they know they didn't bring enough energy and focus to get there."
There is a silver lining, according to coach Gary, in that his team will get a shot at revenge next weekend when the Express play CCNY and NYU Poly in Brooklyn on Saturday. "It's the best part of our schedule, to struggle against a team, take that into the week's training, and use it to fuel our next effort. Let's hope the guys learn what they need to learn for Saturday."
Before that match, Wells will have a rematch with Penn State Behrend on Thursday at home in Wells, and then will finish their season on Saturday with CCNY and NYU Poly.