The College of Staten Island men’s volleyball team took on Lehman College this evening in the CUNYAC Quarterfinal round at Lehman College. The Dolphins, who came in as the six seed, would fall to the Lightning in straight sets 0-3. The loss concludes the Dolphins’ season as they finished with an overall record of 7-16.
The Dolphins and Lightning squared off three times this season with the Lightning picking up the win in all three of those matches throughout the season. Lehman College had Staten Island’s number all season as they were able to prevent the Dolphins from taking a set away from them. Despite getting knocked out of the playoffs the Dolphins showed continual improvement throughout the season, putting a bright spot on a season that ended early.
Match 1: Lehman College 3, Staten Island 0
Staten Island got off to a slow start in the first set of the match, falling behind 11-4. The Lightning hit a match-high .448 percent in the first set while collecting 15 kills. The Dolphins struggled defensively as the Lightning were able to take free shots into the Dolphins’ back line. CSI didn’t help their cause as they committed six errors in the first set. Roberto Ventura Diaz was dialed in all match and tallied six of his 15 kills in the first set. Staten Island was unable to make up the deficit they found themselves in early on which led to a lopsided 25-10 loss. Brandon Lei had his share of issues setting the ball this evening which limited the chances for Khaleeq Baum and Mark Palencia.
The second set for the Dolphins proved to be much better as they were down just 10-13 midway through the set. A switch in momentum would quell the Dolphins’ comeback as the Lightning ripped off a 5-0 to stretch out to a 19-12 lead which doomed the Dolphins. Down five, Head Coach Jason Madsen called a timeout to attempt to rally his troops and cool off the Lightning but the timeout would be to no avail as errors would once again plague the Dolphins. As a team the Dolphins managed four kills in the second set, hitting -.111 with seven errors.
In the third set, the Dolphins once again hung around with the Lightning half way through the set. Down just 9-10 the Lightning would catch fire and go on a 10-0 run to take a 20-9 lead shutting the door on the potential for a comeback by the Dolphins. The Dolphins over that stretch had a horrible string of luck as they committed eight straight errors. Down 10, CSI attempted to make a comeback starting with a Mark Palencia service ace however after that the Dolphins managed just two more points.
Danil Kukovitskiy had a relatively quiet night by his standards, tallying just two blocks and two kills on 11 attacks in his final collegiate match. The Dolphins will look to improve upon this season and set sights on the season ahead with high hopes.