BUFFALO, N.Y. – Senior John Farruggia (New Hartford, N.Y.) posted a team-leading 17 kills on Sunday as the Wells College men's volleyball team dropped a four-set match to the reigning North Eastern Athletic Conference champions from Medaille College. The Express fall to 4-8 overall and to 0-3 within the conference – Medaille (7-3, 3-0 NEAC) remains perfect in league play.
Medaille won the first two sets, 25-15 and 25-20, before the Express cut into the deficit with a 25-23 win in set three. The Mavericks, however, countered with a 25-21 fourth set win to down the Express.
Farruggia's 17 kills, 13 digs and three block assists led the team while freshman Ryan Turner (Liverpool, N.Y.) committed only one error on 12 swings, hitting an impressive .583 after tallying eight kills. Junior Liam Kaylor (Falls Church, Va.) hammered home two service aces while senior Derek Nipps (Turnersville, N.J.) set up 29 of his team's 40 kills.
A McCracken kill brought Wells to within 11-10 in the first set, but the Mavericks scored eight-straight points before a service error put the ball back into the Express' hands. At that point, Wells was down 19-11 and unable to rally as a service error and an attacking error by the Express handed Medaille the opening set victory.
The Express battled Medaille to a 9-9 tie in the second set, but once again, a run by Medaille created a 13-9 advantage for the hosts. Down 23-15, Farruggia posted three-straight kills for the Express as they attempted a comeback, but Brad Schneider had two key kills down the stretch for the Mavericks as they claimed the 25-20 set victory.
Wells and Medaille were tied at 22 in the third set, but it was the Express who would come out victorious. Turner recorded back-to-back kills before Nate Schneider interrupted his run with a kill of his own. At set point, however, Turner hammered home a dish from Nipps to give Wells its first set victory of the afternoon.
A kill by Turner in the fourth set sparked a string of three-straight points for Wells, cutting the Medaille lead to 18-17. The Mavericks, however, forced a Wells timeout with three-straight points and kept the Express at arm's length throughout the remainder of the match. Ahead by a 21-19 margin, three kills by Brad Schneider in the set's next four points allowed a Calvin Crosby kill to end the match with the Mavericks winning by a 3-1 score.
Nate Schneider paced Medaille with 15 kills, committing only one error on 26 total attacks. Brad Schneider recorded 14 kills and committed only two errors, recording a team-best .545 attacking percentage. Matt Dempsey and Brad Schneider posted 34 and 18 assists, respectively, while Dempsey's nine kills led the winning effort.
Wells returns to action Saturday, Feb. 20 as it travels to Keuka Park, N.Y. for a 4 p.m. match with the Phoenix from Wilson College.