Saturday, February 10, 2018

Wilkes Men’s Volleyball Drops Two on Opening Day of Knight Challenge

(Photo courtesy of Wilkes University Sports Information)
GLENSIDE, Pa. – The Wilkes University men’s volleyball team went 0-2 on day one of the Knight Challenge Saturday afternoon in Alumni Gymnasium. The first match of the day against host Arcadia University counted as a Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) match with the Colonels falling 3-1 (25-12, 25-16, 24-26, 25-16). Wilkes was then defeated by No. 8 Kean University 3-0 (25-20, 25-11, 25-15) in a non-conference match to close the day.

Wilkes is now 2-9 overall and 0-3 in MAC action. Arcadia improved to 6-4 overall and 3-0 in the MAC while Kean went to 8-2 overall with the victory.

In the first match of the day the Colonels jumped out to a quick 5-3 lead in the first set against Arcadia. After a run by the Knights an Andrew Potter kill brought Wilkes back to within three points at 14-11 before Arcadia finished the set with a huge run to win 25-12. The Colonels would fall behind early in the second set before falling 25-16.

Wilkes extended the match to a fourth set with a 26-24 win in a tight third set where there were five lead changes and 10 ties. With the score tied at 18 Brian Schumacher and Cole Hefner had back-to-back kills to put the Colonels ahead 20-18. The Knights went on a three-point run to retake the 21-20 advantage before they committed three attack errors in the next four points to give Wilkes the 23-22 lead. Jones Mensah then put a kill down to keep the lead at 24-23 before Arcadia tied the score for a final time. A kill from Schumacher put Wilkes back ahead 25-24 and then an attack error by Arcadia handed the Colonels the set victory.

Arcadia led by as many as four points early in the fourth set before Wilkes closed to within one at 10-9. Mensah and Michael Henne had kills in the 6-3 run for the Colonels but that was as close as Wilkes would get as Arcadia pulled away to a 25-16 set victory to win the match 3-1.

Schumacher tied his career-high with nine kills, going 9-of-17 with three errors for a .353 hitting percentage in the match. Daniel Sales had eight kills and 10 assists and Salvatore Purpura dished out a team-high 15 assists. Henne and Kyle Price led the backline defense with seven and six digs respectively and Hefner was strong at the net with three blocks.

Jarod Pichler led Arcadia with 17 kills and Anthony Devantier had 40 assists and nine digs.

The nationally ranked Cougars jumped out to a 12-3 lead early in the first set of the Colonels second match. Wilkes battled back with a 12-6 scoring stretch to bring the score to 18-15 in favor of Kean. In the surge, Schumacher had two kills and Potter and Hefner each added one. Schumacher and Sales also combined for a block as did Hefner and Potter. The Colonels cut the lead to three points five more times in the set but could not close in closer as Kean took the first set 25-20.

Kean used 6-1 and 7-2 starts in the second and third sets to cruise to the straight-set match victory.

Potter, Schumacher, and Hefner were tied for the team lead with three kills in the match. Purpura assisted eight times and Price led the defense with seven digs.

Nicholas Buseski led the Cougars with six kills on nine attacks and Jonathan Meyer had 15 assists.

The Colonels will compete in day two of the Knight Challenge tomorrow with two non-conference matches against Hunter College at 1:00 p.m. and the College of Mount Saint Vincent at 3:00 p.m.

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