ELMIRA, N.Y. – The Wells College men's volleyball team posted a 3-0 loss to No. 15-ranked Elmira College on Saturday. Elmira, the 15th-ranked squad in NCAA Division III according to the AVCA Men's Volleyball Coaches' Poll, posted a 4-0 record to claim the Mark Twain Cup while improving to 16-8 overall. Wells has lost four-straight matches, falling to 7-12 overall.
Two of the three matches on Saturday were tight, but the Soaring Eagles still eked out wins via scores of 25-22, 25-18 and 25-23. Wells set a single-match team record of 27 assisted blocks while senior Paul Hernon (New Hartford, N.Y.) posted nine of them himself. The 13.5 total blocks as a team is the most-ever in a three set match.
Freshman Scott Litvin (Sayville, N.Y.) posted 12 assists on the day while tying with Hernon for the team lead with four kills. Defensively, junior John Farruggia (West Winfield, N.Y.) led the way with eight digs. Litvin also had a solid net-front presence for the Express, throwing up six block assists.
In the first set, an Elmira attacking error kept Wells alive late in the frame, trailing by only one point at 20-19. The Soaring Eagles, however, stepped up big and hammered home four kills down the stretch to register a 25-22 first set victory. Wells outhit the hosts by a .208-to-.167 margin, but 12 digs for the Soaring Eagles extended plays created additional possessions.
With Elmira leading 16-6 in the second set, Wells ended up recording six-straight points and cut the Soaring Eagles lead to five points, 18-13. Elmira, however, used a combination of kills and Express attacking errors to record a 25-18 decision in the middle set. Seven attacking errors by Wells combined in the second set ultimately doomed any chances of tying the match at one.
Despite jumping out to a 6-0 lead, Elmira's attack absolutely imploded near the midpoint of the third set. Leading 15-8, a kill by freshman Thomas Bogarowski (Hanover Township, Pa.) sparked a string of 10-straight points to place Wells ahead 18-15. Elmira righted the ship, however, and ran off three-straight kills. The Express ultimately let their lead slip away, losing 25-23.
Elmira was led by 15 points from Mark Kawecki. Carlos Faccio committed three errors on four total swings but helped his team with 39 assists. Defensively, Faccio's 12 digs helped his team's match-high total of 40.
Wells continues a tough stretch of games, playing Cairn and Juniata on the road this Saturday, Mar. 7. The first match begins at 3 p.m. on the latter's campus.