Friday, January 19, 2018

Wilkes Men’s Volleyball Suffers Straight Set Loss at St. John Fisher

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The Wilkes University men’s volleyball team opened its weekend trip to Rochester, N.Y. and the first-ever Cardinal Classic by taking on host St. John Fisher College Friday night at the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Athletic Center. The Colonels fell in straight sets (25-23, 25-19, 25-20).

With the loss Wilkes fell to 0-2 on the season while St. John Fisher improved to 2-0.

Wilkes opened the first set leading 5-3 before St. John Fisher went on a three-point run to take the 6-5 lead. The Colonels were unable to regain the lead the rest of the first set and were down 24-17 before staving off six straight set-points to make it 24-23. Daniel Sales had a kill along with a block by Michael Henne and Cole Hefner in the run but the Cardinals were able to get the final point they needed to take the set 25-23.

The lead changed for the fourth time in the second set when Wilkes was able to go on a three-point run to take a 14-12 lead. Brian Schumacher and Andrew Potter combined for a block to close that run. The Cardinals then went on 13-5 run to close out the second set at 25-19.

St. John Fisher blasted out to a 12-4 lead in the third set before back-to-back kills by Sales and Potter gave Wilkes some momentum. The Colonels closed the gap all the way to 13-11 with a 7-1 run that included two consecutive blocks by Hefner and Dylan Smith and Hefner and Potter. The Cardinals then regained control with a 5-1 spurt to make it 18-12 and the Colonels could not get to within less than three points the remainder of the way and fell by a final of 25-20.

Sales led the Wilkes attack with seven kills on 16 attacks and three errors for a .250 hitting percentage. He also had four assists and four digs. Salvatore Purpura led Wilkes with nine assists and a career-high eight digs.

Smith added three kills, seven digs, and a career-best four blocks. Schumacher also had three kills and added three blocks, Hefner had four blocks, and Henne had five digs, two blocks and one ace. Kyle Price had four digs and Potter recorded two kills, two assists, and two blocks.

Wilkes led St. John Fisher 30-29 in digs.

The Cardinals were led by eight kills from Paul Hackford while Mike Strumpfler had eight blocks and three aces.
The Colonels close out the Cardinal Classic with two more matches tomorrow. Wilkes faces Endicott College at 12:00 p.m. and close with Bard College at 2:00 p.m.

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