Men’s Volleyball Competes At Purple & Gold Invitational

Men’s Volleyball Competes At Purple & Gold Invitational

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Despite dropping only one set by more than seven points, the Wells College men's volleyball team dropped all four games by three sets this past weekend at the Purple & Gold Invitational, held on the campus of Nazareth College. In only their second year as a varsity program, the Express went up against two teams within the top-15 in the nation, according to the most recent American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Coaches Poll.

The Express opened their schedule against the No. 1-ranked team in Division III, the Golden Flyers of Nazareth College, and lost in three sets by scores of 18-25, 22-25 and 18-25. Wells posted a .151 team hitting percentage, hammering home 25 kills alongside only 14 total errors as a team. J.J. Podczasy (Macungie, Pa.) posted a team-best eight kills while Winston Pappoe (Bronx, N.Y.) converted 2-of-5 attacks for kills. Junior C.J. Bayly (Waymart, Pa.) assisted on eight kills while freshman Derek Nipps (Turnersville, N.J.) also recorded eight assists while posting seven digs defensively.

Wells committed fewer errors than the host Golden Flyers (18-to-14), but used their high-powered offense to shut down the Express. A total of 45 kills were converted by Nazareth, including a team-leading 11 by Brody Cord. Connor Ecklund and Nick McDonagh each assisted 14 kills while Bobby Beeman chipped in defensively with seven digs.

Against the Roadrunners of Ramapo College on Friday, Wells fell via set scores of 18-25, 18-25 and 19-25. Nipps led the way with seven kills in 10 total attacks, making only one error for a team-leading .600 hitting percentage. Bayly added four kills in nine attacks, hitting .222 in the match. His eight assists and six digs ranked him first on the team in both categories. Sophomore Paul Hernon (New Hartford, N.Y.) added two block assists to lead the team.

Ramapo had three different players post eight kills – as a team, the Roadrunners forced home 37 of their 87 total attacks for kills. Harsh Prajapati assisted 23 of his team's 37 kills while Aaron Kerschner notched six digs on the match. Mike Kane hammered home three service aces, leading the team in that category.

Wells faced-off against the No. 15-ranked Raiders of Rivier University on Saturday, falling by set scores of 15-25, 21-25 and 18-25. Freshman John Farruggia (Mt. Markham, N.Y.) recorded seven kills to lead the Express in that category. His three service aces also led Wells in that category. Nipps posted 13 assists while also leading the team with six digs. Bayly and Pappoe each recorded a solo block and three block assists on the front line.

The Raiders, traveling to Rochester from Nashua, N.H., made only 14 errors on the match and hit .321 collectively. Matt Tutino and Cam Phegley-Walker each posted eight kills and an assist while Mike Hadder assisted 27 kills. Tutino hammered home four of his team's 10 service aces while Mike Hovnanian posted five digs.

The Express renewed their early season rivalry with D'Youville College, falling in three sets (23-25, 23-25, 21-25). Podczasy secured 11 of his team's 34 total kills for the Express while Nipps posted 20 of his team's 30 assists. Defensively, Wiley picked up the slack with 14 digs. Hernon posted four total blocks, throwing up a solo block and three block assists. The Express dropped the first two sets by only two points before yielding a four point loss in the third and decisive set.

D'Youville's high-powered offense posted 116 total attacks, converting 40 attacks for kills. Chris Krueger posted 11 kills while Jay Senozetnik's 22 assists ranked him first on the team. Defensively, Krueger also led his team with 13 digs.

Across all four of the weekend's matches, Podczasy led the way with 24 kills while Farruggia and Nipps posted 23 and 21 kills, respectively. Nipps posted 43 assists while Wiley contributed with 22 digs. Nipps posted 21 digs to his credit while Hernon's 10 total blocks ranked him first.

The Express return to action this Saturday, Mar. 30 as they host the Hawks of Hilbert College and the Storm of Keuka College in a tri-match beginning at 11:00 a.m. at the Frances Tarlton Farenthold Athletic Wing. 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 (