Clinching Victory For DIII No. 4 Vassar In NJCU Win


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Jersey City, N.J. - With a 30-20, 30-25, 30-27 sweep of New Jersey City University (NJCU) this afternoon, Vassar's men's volleyball team not only won its 10th straight game and improved to 17-5 on the season, but the No. 4 ranked Brewers clinched a spot in the NECVA Playoffs that will be held on April 4-6 at Ramapo College. Vassar improves to 8-0 in the NECVA Metro Division and the 17 wins are the most since the 2003 season. Details on this match to follow. Impressively, the Brewers raise their road record to 6-1 on the season and remain a perfect 9-0 against the Gothic Knights.

Vassar will now have ten days off between matches. The Brewers will next play a Metro Division match against Yeshiva at Keynon Hall on March 18 at 8:00 pm. Following Yeshiva, Vassar will play a tri-match against SUNYIT and York on Saturday before taking on NYU in New York City on March 24.

While Vassar leads the all-time series, 9-0, it was the first-ever meeting between the schools as Metro Division opponents, with the Brewers joining the league as a full member this year. It was the first match between the schools in Jersey City since January 29, 1994 and only the third ever played at NJCU.

Vassar hit .284 as a team (51-20-109) and had 23 more kills than NJCU (28-19-98), which hit .092 and did not have a block in the match.

Junior hitter Steve Micucci (Millis, MA/Millis) hit .423 with 15 kills (15-4-26) while junior outside hitter Scott Leserman (Manhattan Beach, CA/Mira Costa) added 12 kills (12-3-23), a .391 percentage, and nine digs.

Junior setter John Kessenich (Chicago, IL/Richard Montgomery) dished 22 assists in two games while junior setter Ben Coleman (Brookline, MA/Brookline) had 13 assists in one game. Also for the Brewers, senior libero Kyle Giunta (Penfield, NY/Penfield) defended a match-high 14 digs.

NJCU had three players with nine kills each, combining for 27 of NJCU's 28 total winners. Junior opposite Thiago Siqueira (Newark, NJ/Science) hit a match-best .444 with nine kills and just one error in 18 attacks, while adding nine digs. He was NJCU's only player with a hitting percentage above .115. Junior outside hitter Kevin Rodgers (Clifton, NJ/Clifton) had nine kills (9-6-39) and seven digs, while freshman outside hitter Marley Pen-Guzman (Atlanta, GA/Central Gwinnett (Lawrenceville, GA)) also had nine kills (9-6-26).

Freshman setter Justin Beaumont (Bayonne, NJ/Bayonne) had 27 assists while rookie libero Jorge Rodriguez (Havana, Cuba/Memorial) defended nine digs.

In game one, there were seven ties and four lead changes in the early stages, but after NJCU got within three, 15-12, Vassar pushed the margin to 18-12 and cruised to a 30-20 decision.

After an early 4-4 tie, Vassar never trailed again in game two, but was threatened. Down 21-16, NJCU sliced it to one, 22-21, with a 5-1 spurt. A Leserman ace and kill by senior outside hitter Tom Pawlowski (Havertown, PA/Haverford), who had seven winners in the match, made it 25-21. Pena had a kill and an attack error by Micucci allowed NJCU to claw within 27-25, but Vassar scored the final three points-two coming on NJCU errors.

There were nine ties and two lead changes in game three. Trailing 14-9, NJCU tied it at 16-16 off a Pena slam, capping a 7-2 run. The teams traded ties at 17, 18 and 19. Vassar opened a 23-20 lead on an NJCU error, but Siqueira landed a kill and Vassar had two attack errors, as the Knights tied it yet again, 23-23. But Micucci had a kill and Leserman followed with two more as the Brewers gained a 27-23 advantage. NJCU twice cut it to two points, before Vassar prevailed, 30-27.

Article courtesy of Vassar athletics.

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