Saturday, January 27, 2018

Wilkes Men’s Volleyball Goes 1-1 Saturday against Wilson and Bard

(Photo courtesy of Wilkes University Sports Information)
DALLAS, Pa. – The Wilkes University men’s volleyball team faced Wilson College and Bard College Saturday afternoon at Misericordia University coming away with a split. First the Colonels fell 3-0 (25-17, 25-18, 25-20) to Wilson before closing the day with a 3-1 (25-12, 24-26, 25-20, 25-21) victory over Bard.

Wilkes is now 2-5 overall on the season. Wilson went to 1-0 as the matchup with the Colonels was its first match of the season. Bard is now 0-5.

In the day’s first match a kill by Brian Schumacher and setting error by Wilson evened the first set score at five before a four-point run put Wilkes in a hole it could not recover from. Wilson would win the first set 25-17.

Wilkes led the second set 7-6 with points coming on two Daniel Sales kills, a Schumacher kill, and a Cole Hefner ace. A Wilson 11-3 run put the Colonels down 17-10 and they were unable to pull to within anything better than four points as the Phoenix took the second set by a 25-18 final.

The Colonels trailed early in the third set but with the score at 9-7 in favor of the Phoenix, Wilkes went on a four-point run to take the 11-9 lead when Sales and Schumacher each had a kill and Hefner provided another ace. Wilkes then opened a 14-10 lead when Sales and Schumacher had back-to-back kills again. The Colonels would maintain the lead up to a 20-19 score but Wilson scored the final six points to finish off the set 25-20 and sweep the match 3-0.

Schumacher led the Colonels with a career-high nine kills and he also added two digs and two blocks. He hit 9-of-13 with one error for a stellar .615 hitting percentage in the match. Sales had eight kills, nine assists, six digs. Salvatore Purpura had eight assists and six digs and Dylan Smith and Kyle Price each added four digs.

Carlos Jimenez recorded a double-double for Wilson with 13 kills and 11 digs. Nick Baxter finished with 10 kills and five aces and Ian Firestone had 35 assists.

The Colonels took on Bard in the second match of the afternoon and held a slight lead at 10-8 before closing with a 15-4 flurry to take the opening set 25-12. In the decisive seven-point run to stretch the lead, Sales recorded three kills, Smith added a kill and an ace, and Hefner had a kill.

The second set was a back-and-forth contest until the Raptors were able to score two consecutive points to take the set 26-24.

Wilkes responded well in the third set and jumped out to a 16-7 lead capped off by a five-point run. In that run Smith had two kills and Jones Mensah and Hefner each connected on one kill. The Raptors were able to go on a run of their own to cut the Colonels lead to 23-20 but two Bard errors gave Wilkes the 25-20 set win.

With the match victory in sight the Colonels jumped ahead 11-5 in the fourth set and put down five straight kills to open the margin. Smith and Mensah had two of the kills and Andrew Potter added the other. Bard sliced the Wilkes lead down to two points at 21-19 and 22-20 but the Colonels had an answer. Potter provided a kill followed by another from Sales to set up match point. The Raptors put a kill down but Sales responded on the next play with a kill to end the fourth set at 25-21.

It was the second time this season that Wilkes defeated Bard by a 3-1 score.

Sales recorded his second triple-double of his career and first of the season with 16 kills, 13 assists, and 10 digs. Schumacher tied his career-high set earlier in the day with nine kills and added career-highs with three assists, three digs, and four blocks. Smith put down a season-best eight kills and assisted a career-best five times. Potter set a career-best mark with seven kills and Hefner and Mensah each added seven kills as well. Michael Henne had a career-high eight digs to lead Wilkes defensively. Price dished out a career-best nine assists and Purpura led the team with 19 assists.

Stefan Briggs and Tyler Zowaski led Bard with 10 kills.
The Colonels take to the court next for their first-ever conference match when they travel to Stevenson University Saturday, February 3 to mark the beginning of the inaugural season of Middle Atlantic Conference Men’s Volleyball competition. The match is set to begin at 2:00 p.m.

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