THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – The Emmanuel College men's volleyball team came out on top in five sets to St. John Fisher College on Saturday afternoon in its fourth and final game in the Cal-Lu-Fornia Classic. With the win, the Saints improve to 11-9 while the Cardinals fall to 16-8.
Fisher was outlasted in the fifth set as the Cardinals took the loss in the five set thriller 23-15, 25-16, 25-23, 19-25, 14-16. As a team, Fisher totaled 53 kills and eight service aces throughout the match.
EC junior middle hitter Justyn Schueler (Trumbull, Conn.) collected a career-high 17 kills in the victory while senior outside hitter Erik English (Simi Valley, Calif.) played well with 13 kills and 16 digs in the win.
Despite dropping the first set, the Cardinals battled their way back in the second set with the help of an early 4-0 run to begin the set. Back-and-forth action continued throughout the set, until Fisher was able to break away as two straight Kevin Cahill service aces finished off the set.
Much like the third set, both teams would trade points back and forth for the majority of the set. The Cardinals were able to grab some momentum as a kill from Martin Hackford pushed the Cardinals ahead 20-19.
Following a kill from Eric Bentivenga, the Saints would rattle off three-straight points to earn themselves a late 23-22 advantage. However, another two kills from Bentivenga would lead Fisher on a 3-0 scoring run of its own, to earn a two sets to none lead.
In the fourth set it was Emmanuel's time to battle back as the Saints were able to use 10 kills, in route to a fourth set victory.
As the fifth and deciding set got underway, either set was giving up an edge as both sides would battle until Emmanuel was able to break through and take an 8-6 lead at the switch.
A kill and an ace from Mike Strumpfler, followed by a kill from Avery Terroso helped push Fisher ahead 14-11, however the Saints were able to finish the match with five straight points, taking home the victory.
EC junior setter Seamus McDonagh (Long Beach, N.Y.) dished out 39 assists in the victory while junior middle hitter John Carroll (Massapequa, N.Y.) added six total blocks.
Martin Hackford led the way the Cardinals as the freshman tallied a career-high 19 kills, eight digs, and a .342 hitting percentage. Cahill added another 16 kills, while Bentivenga pitched in seven kills.
Dylan Urbanski and Quinn Magiera split the setting duties throughout the match, finishing with 26 and 18 assists respectively. Defensively Tyler Richards led the Cardinals with eight total digs.
*Courtesy of SJF Athletic Communications