Thursday, February 8, 2018

Wilkes Men’s Volleyball Opens MAC Home Action with Loss to Messiah

(Photo courtesy of Wilkes University Sports Information)
WILKES-BARRE – Daniel Sales recorded a double-double but the Wilkes University men’s volleyball team lost its first-ever Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) home match in straight sets (25-13, 25-17, 25-19) to Messiah College Thursday night at the Marts Center.

Wilkes fell to 2-7 overall and to 0-2 in the MAC while Messiah improved its overall record to 3-1 and its conference mark to 2-0.

The Falcons began the first set with the first six points before a kill by Cole Hefner put the Colonels on the board. A kill by Michael Henne closed the gap to 11-7 but that was as close as Wilkes could get in the opening set as Messiah pulled away to a 25-13 victory.

Messiah led by as many as five points early in the second set before Wilkes made a comeback. With the score at 9-4 the Colonels rattled off five of the next six points to close the margin to one point. Brian Schumacher and Hefner had a kills and Jones Mensah fired an attack down the right sideline for another during the run. Wilkes could never tie the match and Messiah again pulled away to take the second set 25-17.

The Colonels trailed 5-1 in the third set before going on a 6-2 run to tie the game at seven. In the scoring spurt Mensah registered two kills and Sales had one. Henne capped the run with an ace to tie the score. The Falcons answered back with four consecutive points and Wilkes was unable to close back in as Messiah took the third set 25-19 and the match 3-0.

Sales had 10 kills and 11 assists for his second double-double of the season and the ninth in his career. Henne was second on the team and tied a career-high with eight digs and Kyle Price led the Colonels with nine. Salvatore Purpura led Wilkes with 14 assists and Mensah and Schumacher each had four kills.

Logan Hunsberger led Messiah with 11 kills and seven digs and Brad Nase dished out 30 assists.

Next up for the Colonels is a weekend trip to Glenside, Pa. to play four games in the Knight Challenge. They will face the host Arcadia University in a MAC match at 1:00 p.m. Saturday before finishing the day against No. 8 Kean University at 3:00 p.m. in non-conference action. Sunday Wilkes plays two more 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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