The College of Staten Island men’s volleyball squad picked up their third straight win tonight to move to 3-5 overall. The Dolphins defeated St. Joseph’s College – Brooklyn, 3-1 (25-17, 25-23, 24-26, 25-17). The win over the Bears marked the second in Staten Island’s young history.
The men opened up the match with a 25-17 win over the Bears to take a 1-0 lead in the match. Staten Island hit .200 as a team while Danil Kukovitskiy hit a perfect 1.000, collecting two kills on two attacks in the first set. Brandon Lei acquired six assists despite having two ball handling errors called on him throughout the set. The Dolphins were in close back-and-forth action early in the match before going on a 5-2 run to go up 15-11 over the Bears. From that point the men didn’t look back and continued to force errors by their opponents who tallied 11 errors in the first set.
In set two the Dolphins improved their team hitting percentage to .250 as they doubled their kills. Set two was led by Justin Edwardsen and Kukovitskiy who combined for 9 kills on 14 attacks. St. Joseph’s College also improved in the second set as they pushed the Dolphins to the limit in a close game that ended 25-23 in favor of the Dolphins. Clyde Delacruz from St. Joseph’s hit .857 with six kills in the loss but gave the Bears a fighting chance. Delacruz was set up by Norrin Martinez who finished the set with 13 assists.
The Dolphins would once again be taken to the brink in the third set but were unable to get over the final hump as the Bears would squeeze out a victory, 26-24, over the Dolphins to make the score 2-1. Staten Island committed seven errors in set three, their highest of the match, which caused them to surrender a set to the Bears. It was a hard fought battled until the end as neither team was able to pull far ahead. With the score tied at 24 Lei would be called for a ball handling error, his third of the set, to give the Bears a one point lead. The Bears would then set up Delacruz who would smash it back into the court for the set winner.
That loss would fire the Dolphins up as they knew they should have swept the Bears. The men would put up a match high 14 kills as well as a match low one error. The men returned to their strong form from set one and would go on to win the fourth and final set 25-17.
Kukovitskiy finished the match with 12 kills and three blocks, while Edwardsen finished with 14 kills and six digs. Lei collected a total of 33 assists and four service aces and eight ball handling errors.
The men will return to action on Thursday, February 18 at the CSI Sports & Recreation Center at 7:00 pm against Baruch College.