ALTOONA, Pa. – Three different members of the Wells College men's volleyball team registered 16 kills on Friday, helping the Express defeat the Phoenix from Wilson College in four sets on the campus of Penn St.-Altoona. With the win, Wells moves to 9-16 overall on the year and to 5-7 against North Eastern Athletic Conference foes. Wilson falls to 0-15 with the result.
Wells won the first set by a 25-20 margin, but the Phoenix rallied for a thrilling 29-27 win to even the match at one. The Express, however, would settle down and take the next two sets, 25-15 and 25-17.
Freshman Brannon Perdicho (Victor, N.Y.), senior John Farruggia (New Hartford, N.Y.) and junior Liam Kaylor (Falls Church, Va.) each tallied 16 kills for the Express – this is the first instance in program history where three different players registered 16 or more kills in the same match. Posting 62 kills as a team, the Express set a new program record for a single match after eclipsing the previous mark of 60 kills, set against Penn St.-Behrend on Mar. 5 of this season.
Farruggia committed only two attacking miscues on 31 swings, hitting a team-leading .452 on the match. Kaylor also hit for an impressive figure, making only four errors on 28 total attacks to cash in with a .429 hitting percentage. Perdicho joined Kaylor with a double-double as both players tallied 12 and 10 digs, respectively, to lead the Express.
Wells raced out to a 13-8 lead in the first set as four-straight kills from Perdicho helped grow the Express advantage. The Phoenix would trim the Express lead to 21-18 down the stretch, but a kill from freshman Ryan Turner (Liverpool, N.Y.) at set point finished a stretch of three-straight errors by Wilson. As a team, Wells would hit .500 after posting 14 kills with only one attacking error on 26 swings.
Wilson, however, would answer with its first-ever set victory in NEAC play after overcoming an early 4-0 deficit. Tying the score at 15, Wilson would post six-straight points to stun the Express, taking a 20-15 lead. Both teams would not give up the set easily, battling to a 27-27 deadlock before a Zachary Zerr kill preceded an attacking error by Wells to even the match at one.
In the third set, it was Wells who would use a big run to its advantage. Leading by a 13-10 score, Wells would register seven of the set's next eight points to own a commanding 20-11 lead that they would not relinquish, eventually using three kills from Perdicho in the set's final four points to move to 2-1 within the match.
Wells would continue to improve in the fourth set, possessing an 11-3 run that eventually grew to 24-13. Yet another clutch Perdicho kill, however, would send the Express to the victory at match point. In the final two sets alone, Wells would hit a collective .417 after notching 32 kills and committing only seven attacking errors on 60 total attempts.
Aaron Hoke led Wilson with 20 kills on 61 attacks while Zerr would chip in 16 kills alongside six digs. Jeremy Waldman would strike for a double-double, recording 32 assists and 13 digs, while Evan Hoke accounted for a team-leading 13 digs on defense.
Wells will take on conference-rivals Lancaster Bible and Penn St.-Altoona on Saturday, Mar. 19 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively, in Altoona, Pa.