KEUKA PARK, N.Y. – The Wells College men's volleyball team opened play on Saturday with a 3-0 victory over Polytechnic (N.Y.) before losing a 2-0 lead to the Hawks of Hilbert College and eventually dropping a 3-2 decision on the campus of Keuka College. Exiting play on Saturday, Wells' overall record stands at 15-7.
The Express captured a victory in straight sets over the Fighting Blue Jays (25-22, 25-13, 25-22) to open play. As a team, Wells hit a collective .286 (38-14-84) with sophomore J.J. Podczasy (Macungie, Pa.) and freshman Liam Kaylor (Falls Church, Va.) each recording 10 kills to lead the team in that statistic. Sophomore Derek Nipps (Turnersville, N.J.) registered 31 assists and senior libero C.J. Bayly (Waymart, Pa.) scooped seven digs to lead all players defensively.
With 10.5 blocks against NYU-Poly, the Express set a team record for blocks in a three set match. Their previous record of 8.5 team blocks was set against Hilbert on Feb. 25, 2012. Their 37 team assists fell only one short of tying the all-time three set record (38, at Cazenovia, 03/08/14).
The Fighting Blue Jays saw a team-best 13 kills from Fild Kroqi. Rishi Sarkar assisted 21 of his team's 24 kills and Marcus Piazzola notched six digs to lead his team in that statistic.
Despite a two set lead in the match, the Express dropped a hotly-contested five set match to the Hawks to conclude the day (25-18, 25-17, 22-25, 18-25, 12-15). Wells opened up play in the first set hitting .400 after posting 17 kills and only five errors on 30 total attacks, but posted 22 errors across the next four sets to allow Hilbert to pose a strong comeback.
Sophomore John Farruggia (Leonardsville, N.Y.) posted 15 kills for Wells and also added three solo blocks to his match stat line. Kaylor and classmate Alex Battey (Palmdale, Calif.) chipped in 14 and 10 kills, respectively, while Nipps chipped in 41 assists for Wells. Defensively, Nipps turned in 17 digs to lead all players for Wells. Bayly, Podczasy and Kaylor each recorded 10 digs in the five set loss.
Hilbert, with only seven players seeing action in the match, was led by Adam Weaver's 30 kills on 72 total attacks, hitting at a .278 clip after registering 10 errors. David Mellerski assisted 35 kills for Hilbert while Ryan Ratajczak posted 24 digs. Andrew Duncan threw up five solo blocks and also added a block assist.
The Express return to action this Saturday, Mar. 29 as they head back to Keuka Park, N.Y. to conclude North Eastern Athletic Conference play against the host Storm and the Wildcats from the SUNY Institute of Technology in two key conference matches. Wells will face SUNYIT starting at 1:00 p.m.