BUFFALO, N.Y. – Sparked by 19 kills from junior John Farruggia (West Winfield, N.Y.), the Wells College men's volleyball team posted a 3-1 victory over North Eastern Athletic Conference-rival Hilbert College Friday evening on the campus of Medaille College. With their second NEAC victory in as many games this season, the Express improve to 5-6 overall on the year while Hilbert (0-10, 0-1 NEAC) remains in search of their season's first win.
Farruggia's 19 kills tied the single-match team record in that statistic as he hit a cumulative .349 across the four-set match. He also posted his third career double-double, reaching 11 digs to contribute to his team's total of 57. Senior Paul Hernon (New Hartford, N.Y.) contributed defensively for the Express, posting 10 total blocks to set a team record. Freshman Scott Litvin (Sayville, N.Y.) set up 42 of his team's 52 total kills while libero Jack Battumur (Denver, Colo.) registered 15 digs to lead the team.
Leading by a 20-15 margin in the first set, Wells allowed Hilbert to score five-straight points to tie the game at 20. The Express, however, countered with five-straight points of their own as Farruggia stepped up with three clutch kills during that stretch. Wells scored 11 points in the first set off of kills but also utilized nine attacking errors by Hilbert to capture the opener.
Farruggia once again lifted the Express almost single-handedly in the second set as he rattled off three-straight kills with his team up 16-14 to build a decisive 19-14 lead that Hilbert was unable to overcome. In total, Wells scored seven-straight points with the match tied at 12 aside with the help of Farruggia's impressive streak. Battumur also picked up his first collegiate kill from the back line as the offense clicked down the stretch.
Hilbert was able to capture the third set by a 25-23 margin as Wells gifted points via five attacking errors alongside a match-high eight service errors. With the score tied at 22 aside, Wells committed back-to-back attacking errors to pilot Hilbert to set point. A Farruggia kill briefly kept the Express alive but a service error by Wells forced a fourth set.
Wells rocketed out to an impressive 19-10 lead in the fourth set and never looked back, capturing the decisive fourth set by a 25-16 score. Hernon added an exclamation point to the match, ending the proceedings with a service ace that boosted the Express to a 2-0 conference record. In the fourth set alone, Wells registered a match-high 15 kills and also used a strong net-front presence to claim the win, throwing up five blocks in the set.
The Hawks were led by Korey Schwab's 15 kills. Adam Heftka assisted 25 of his team's 34 kills while Ryan Ratajczak led players from both teams with 16 digs on defense.
Wells returns to Buffalo, N.Y. Saturday morning as they face-off against the host Mavericks of Medaille College at 10 a.m. before playing D'Youville in a neutral site match at 2 p.m. Live Video is available by visiting the Men's Volleyball schedule page by clicking here.