Slow Start, Better Finish for Men's Volleyball in Loss to Penn State Behrend

Buffalo, NY - The D'Youville men's volleyball team showed the faithful in College Center Gym two extremes of play tonight in their match against visiting Penn State Behrend. The first set was the Spartans in full struggle mode. The following two games, especially the second, showed just how good they could be.

In the end Penn State Behrend came away with a three-set win. Game scores were 25-9, 29-27, and 25-19.

The first set got away from the Spartans in a hurry.

Behrend jumped out to a 10-1 lead and quickly extended it to 17-3. The Lions hit .429 and were a perfect 10 for 10 in siding out off D'Youville serves. D'Youville had a hitting percentage of .000 and generated only five kills.

It looked like it was going to be a quick evening.

A better start saw D'Youville took their first lead of the match after a Behrend attack error  and two- straight points after blocks from Steve Goedtel (Eden, NY/Eden) and Evan Singer (Williamsville, NY/Williamsville South) made the score 7-4 in favor of the Spartans.

The teams battled to 12 ties and four lead changes in that second frame. D'Youville had a 23-20 lead and looked poised to tie the contest but an ace and three-straight hitting errors put D'Youville on the wrong side of the lead at 24-23. The Spartans held off four set points with a pair of kills from Goedtel, Matt Loos (Cheektowaga, NY/Maryvale), and Brett Cawthorn (West Seneca, NY/St. Francis) but Behrend took game two 29-27.

The Spartans had a single-game season-high of 16 kills in that second game and registered 15 digs and four blocks.

Spartans' Head coach John Hutton called it, "the best game we have played this season. What makes it even more of a positive was it came after our worst single-game of the season."

Thee were five ties and three lead changes in the third set but Behrend clinched the match with a 25-19 third game win. D'Youville generated 11 kills and made it the first time since January 24 the Spartans posted double-digit kill totals in consecutive games.

Loos finished with a match-high 10 kills, Goedtel totaled a season-high seven kills and Cawthorn added seven kills. Singer tied a career-high with five blocks and Collin McMahon (Grand Island, NY/Grand Island) dished a season-high 29 assists.

D'Youville returns to United Volleyball Conference play this weekend at Elmira College. Saturday (March 8) the Spartans play No. 7 Stevens (NJ) at 1 pm and Bard at 5 pm. March 9 D'Youville plays No. 14 New York University at 11 am.