Staten Island, NY | Adil El Haddad posted a team-high 17 assist in the 3-1 (25-10, 25-11, 26-24, 25-12) loss to Hunter College in their home opener at The Tank. The Dolphins fell to 1-6, 0-4 while the Hawks improved to 8-4, 3-0 on the year. 

The Hawks swung for double-digit kills in all four sets while the Dolphins managed to secure seven as their highest which came in the third set. Hunter College tallied 47 kills on the night, toppling the Dolphins’ 21. Staten Island was able to keep it close in digs, ending the match just six shy of Hunter’s 46. 

Mark Palencia and Christian Dumadag paced the way for the Dolphins tonight with eight and seven kills, respectively. In the back line, Zebin Guo and Palencia combined for 20 of CSI’s 40 digs to lead the Dolphins. 

Staten Island struggled with Hunter’s defense at the net all night long as the Hawks secured 14 blocks with Daniel Dobrogowski leading the way with 9 assisted blocks. 

Despite the lopsided score in the first set, the Dolphins had their second best set of the match to open the night.  CSI tallied five kills on 21 total attacks with seven errors. It only got worse for the Dolphins in the second set as they hit a match-low -.233. 

CSI found new life in the third set, staring defeat in the eyes after falling behind two sets to none. The Dolphins, who came into tonight’s match never having taken a set from Hunter before, did just that.  Trailing by as many as three points in the final moments of the set, the Dolphins rallied with a 6-1 run.  The Dolphins’ run was aided by three straight attacking errors by the Hawks while Dumadag, Palencia, and Daniel Kim each had a kill during that stretch. 

The Dolphins looked poised to turn the match around in their favor during the fourth set after having all the wind in their sails to end the third.  Things would not go in favor of the Dolphins as they would fall behind 11-3 early on which forced them to call a timeout to try and regroup.  Staten Island was able to mount a comeback in the final set of the night as they would fall 25-12.

Up next for the Dolphins is a tri-match on Saturday, March 3 at The Tank where they will host Penn State Behrend and St. Joseph’s College – Brooklyn.