AURORA, N.Y. – Despite a team-record 60 kills offensively, the Wells College men's volleyball team fell to the Lions from Penn St.-Behrend by a 3-1 score on Saturday at the Farenthold Athletic Wing. Wells dips to 6-13 overall on the year while the Lions improve to 4-10 on the season.
Wells, who fell to the Lions via set scores of 27-25, 23-25, 25-23, and 25-19, also set the single-match program record for assists with 59. Junior Liam Kaylor (Falls Church, Va.) racked up a team-best 16 kills while senior John Farruggia (New Hartford, N.Y.) and sophomore Brannon Perdicho (Victor, N.Y.) registered 15 kills for the Express. Nipps recorded a career-high 51 assists, falling only two short of the team record.
The score was tied on 53 different occasions and a total of 17 lead changes occurred in the roller coaster match.
Perdicho led all Wells players with 11 digs while Nipps and senior J.J. Podczasy (Macungie, Pa.) were responsible for eight digs. Freshman Jonathan Haines (Wellington, Fla.) threw up five block assists and one solo block while six-different members of the team recorded at least one block assist on the afternoon.
Down by a 10-9 score in the first set, Wells rallied with four-straight points to capture a 13-10 lead following three-straight Express kills. The Express, however, promptly allowed seven-straight points to the visitors who built up a 17-13 lead. Three-straight service aces by Perdicho later in the set capped a 6-0 run that propelled Wells into the lead, 22-20.
With the score deadlocked at 25 following a Behrend rally, a kill by Eric Theiss and an attacking error by the Express at set point catapulted the Lions to a 1-0 lead. In total, Penn St.-Behrend hit a commanding .542 after registering 15 kills on 24 attacks, committing only two errors, while Wells made nine attacking errors in the first set alone.
There was only one lead change in the second set, but both teams battled to tie the score on nine-separate occasions. It was the Express who prevailed in the end as a Perdicho kill with the score knotted at 23 created set point prior to an attacking error by the Lions, tying the match at one set aside. Wells rallied from a shaky first set to hit .227, using 17 kills on 44 total attacks while committing only seven attacking errors.
The third set would ultimately swing the matches' momentum in favor of the Lions as they posted a 25-23 victory after battling the Express through 19 tie scores and eight different lead changes. With the score tied at 23, a kill by Theiss preceded a Wells attacking error to lift Penn St.-Behrend to the 2-1 match lead.
Wells would fight the Lions to a 16-16 tie in the fourth set, but the Lions would wrap up the match by picking up nine of the set's next 12 points to down the Express.
Trenton Munk and Theiss each posted 15 kills while Josh Oertly picked up 12 kills of his own. Anthony Sprentz set up 51 of his team's 58 kills while joining Theiss with a team-high six digs on the match.
Wells will return to action Sunday, Mar. 6 as it welcomes Wittenberg to the Farenthold Athletic Wing for a 7 p.m. non-league tilt.