Men’s Volleyball Splits In Wells College Invitational Opener

Men’s Volleyball Splits In Wells College Invitational Opener

AURORA, N.Y. – The Wells College men's volleyball team split their games in the opener of the Wells College Invitational Friday afternoon at the Frances Tarlton Farenthold Athletic Wing. On the afternoon, the Express posted a 3-0 victory over the Wildcats of Cazenovia College in the final game after recording a 3-0 loss at the hands of SUNY Institute of Technology to open tournament play. Following the day's action, the Express' overall record stands at 5-5.

In the opener, the Express were defeated by SUNYIT via set scores of 27-25, 25-20 and 25-20. Cumulatively for the Express, freshman J.J. Podczasy (Macungie, Pa.) led the way with a .143 hitting percentage, recording nine kills in 35 total attacks alongside only four errors. Classmate Derek Nipps (Turnersville, N.J.) posted a team-leading 11 assists and 11 digs defensively while libero Tyler Wiley (York, Pa.) ranked second on the team with 10 digs. Freshman John Farruggia (Mt. Markham, N.Y.) contributed four block assists on the day while also posting two service aces.

With the score tied 24-24 in the first set following an attack error from Podczasy, the Express captured a 25-24 lead after Podczasy atoned for his miscue with a kill, set up by junior C.J. Bayly (Waymart, Pa.). A Sean Conte kill preceded two Express errors to secure a 27-25 opening set victory for the visiting Wildcats. Wells did not possess a lead for the remainder of the contest.

Against Cazenovia, the Express were able to improve to 3-0 against the Wildcats on the year via a 3-0 win with set scores of 25-15, 25-14 and 25-15. Nipps led the team offensively with a .467 hitting percentage, converting 8-of-15 total attacks for kills while making only one error. As a team, the Express hit .234 (38-16-94). Bayly and Nipps each assisted 16 Wells kills while Farruggia led defensively with 12 digs to his credit. Farruggia's six service aces granted him the team lead in that category.

In the first set, the Express opened with a 7-0 run sparked by the serving of Farruggia, who recorded two of his six service aces in the game's opening sequence. The Wildcats, with Michael Busby serving, did mount a comeback to cut the score to 15-13 near the set's midpoint. The Express were able to ride another Farruggia serving wave, utilizing two additional service aces en route to the first set victory.

After not relinquishing the lead in the middle stanza, the Express trailed by two early points following their own attack errors. A Nipps kill, a Podczasy service ace and an attack error by Cazenovia granted the Express a 5-4 lead of which they would not relinquish for the remainder of the tilt.

For SUNYIT in the opener, Dan O'Connor led the way with a .200 hitting percentage after converting eight of his 15 attacks for kills. Jeff Knapp posted 26 assists while Conte led the way with 14 digs. Cazenovia was powered by Stanley McDaniel and Marquis Bennett – both players posted four kills while Devin Purcell added six assists en route to the loss. Defensively, David Markes posted six digs.

With the assistance of "Express Nation", the Wells College volleyball squads posted 3,058 total "bumps" en route to setting the "Bump World Record" at the end of the second set against Cazenovia College.

Fans and players were both invited onto the court to "bump" a volleyball into the air as many times as possible for one minute – the world record attempt has been videotaped and will be submitted to for inclusion as an official world record.

With no group officially holding the record for most "bumps" at one time and one location, the Express have set the world record with 3,056 total bumps taking place within the volleyball court Friday evening.

Wells College will play host to two neutral site matches Saturday, Feb. 23 - for the official tournament website, click here ( Stay up to date with the latest news directly from the Wells College athletic department by "liking" us on Facebook ( and subscribing to our Twitter account (