Penn State Altoona, Wells College Advance to NEAC Men's Volleyball Championship

Penn State Altoona, Wells College Advance to NEAC Men's Volleyball Championship

GANSEVOORT, N.Y. – After an evening of thrilling semifinal games, only two teams remain as top-seeded Penn State Altoona and No. 3 seed Wells College will meet on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. in the NEAC Men’s Volleyball Finals at Adler Gym on the campus of Penn State Altoona. The NEAC Men’s Volleyball All-Conference Team and annual award winners were also recognized on Friday evening in between the two semifinal matchups.

Awards Ceremony Photos

NEAC Men’s Volleyball Semifinals

Penn State Altoona 3, SUNY Polytechnic 1

Boxscore / Recap (Courtesy of Penn State Altoona)

No. 1 seed Penn State Altoona (25-6) controlled play in the opening set to pick up a 25-18 win over No. 4 seed SUNY Polytechnic (16-17) but the Wildcats evened the score with a 25-20 victory in the second set. SUNY Polytechnic carried that momentum in to the third set where they led by as many as six points and held an 18-13 lead late. With the home crown in their corner, the Lions continued to battle by outscoring the Wildcats, 14-7, over the remainder of the set en route to the 27-25 win.

The Lions’ rally set the tone for the remainder of the match as Penn State Altoona maintained a lead for most of the final set to pick up the 25-22 win and defeat SUNY Polytechnic by a final score of 3-1.

NEAC Player of the Year Bradley Colditz (Upper St. Clair, Pa.) had a match-best 16 kills for Penn State Altoona. Rookie setter Tommy Kisick (Latrobe, Pa.) chipped in 30 assists and NEAC Defensive Player of the Year Wally Rivera-Berrios (Toa Alta, Puerto Rico) led all players with 17 digs.

SUNY Polytechnic’s Robert Nilsen (Bohemia, N.Y.) and James Homan (Fairport, N.Y.) had 10 kills apiece. Junior setter Zach Goggin (Feeding Hills, Mass.) contributed 44 assists and Brian Malsan (Slingerlands, N.Y.) led the Wildcats with eight digs.

Wells College 3, Lancaster Bible College 2

Boxscore / Recap (Courtesy of Wells College)

A closely-contested semifinal ended with No. 3 seed Wells College (19-12) knocking off No. 2 seed Lancaster Bible College (25-9) in five sets. The match opened with a back-and-forth set where neither team held a lead of more than two points but Wells emerged victorious, 26-24, to take a 1-0 lead. The Chargers rallied to take the second set, 25-20, but the Express answered back by taking the third set by the same score. It appeared that momentum may be swinging in favor of Lancaster Bible after the Chargers cruised to a 25-13 win in the fourth set to even the match at 2-2, but the final set served as the perfect ending to a hard-fought match.

Wells College maintained early control in the final set en route to an 11-6 advantage before Lancaster Bible called a time out. The Chargers returned to the court to score the next six points to take a 12-11 edge. The two teams continued to trade points until the Express tallied three in a row to earn the 16-14 win and a spot in the NEAC Championship game.

Wells College junior Brannon Perdicho (Victor, N.Y.) led his team with 16 kills, four service aces, 13 digs and 20.5 points. Caden O’Loughlin (Louisville, Ky.) added 12 kills and two service aces while Josh Undari (Manor Park, N.Y.) recorded a team-high 24 assists.

Lancaster Bible was led by junior Kasey Gentry (Hershey, Pa.) with 22 kills and 16 digs. Richard Solano (Riverside, Calif.) had a team-leading 19 digs while NEAC Rookie of the Year Kaleb Ansell (York, Pa.) contributed a match-high 47 assists and three solo blocks.

Penn State Altoona and Wells College are making their first appearances in the NEAC Men’s Volleyball Finals. The winner of Saturday’s championship game will receive an automatic berth to the 2017 NCAA Division III Men’s Volleyball Tournament. This year will mark the first NCAA automatic berth in men’s volleyball for the NEAC.

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The North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) has fourteen NCAA Division III member institutions which include: Bryn Athyn College, Cazenovia College, College of St. Elizabeth, Gallaudet University, Keuka College, Lancaster Bible College, Pennsylvania College of Technology, Pennsylvania State University – Abington, Pennsylvania State University – Berks, SUNY Cobleskill, SUNY Morrisville State College, SUNY Polytechnic Institute, Wells College, and Wilson College.  Associate members are: Cedar Crest College (W Swimming), D’Youville College (M Volleyball), Hilbert College (M&W Lacrosse, M Volleyball), Medaille College (M&W Lacrosse, M Volleyball), Pennsylvania State University – Altoona (M Volleyball), and Rutgers University – Camden (M Golf).  The NEAC has partnered with the North Atlantic Conference in the sports of field hockey and men’s and women’s tennis.  For more information, please visit: www.neacsports.com.