Staten Island, NY |  In what was their final regular season home contest and a night where they honored lone senior Ronald Tisbe, the Dolphins fell in a razor-tight, 3-2, match to visiting Purchase College at The Tank this evening.  CSI won the first set, 25-20, then fell in sets two and three, 25-21, and 25-23, before roaring back to score a 25-20 win in the fourth set.  In the fifth and deciding set, Purchase scored the final three points in a 15-13 deciding game.  CSI fell to 6-14 overall, while the Panthers, winners of four in a row, improved to 9-15.

In the opener, CSI held a modest lead early before Purchase posted a 9-2 run to take a 12-6 lead, powered by a kill each from Luke Kubisch and Andreo Otiniano.  CSI then chipped away methodically, ultimately forcing a 14-14 tie using three-straight PC attack errors followed by a Christian Dumadag kill.  CSI saw a lead diminished and asked for time up just 20-19.  Following the timeout, the Dolphins came to life with a Dumadag kill  and followed two attack errors, Herman Liu popped in a kill and Tairou Diaman capped another to finish the set at 25-20.

PC went up early in the second set, assuming a 3-1 lead, before CSI took a 7-6 lead on a Diaman kill.  CSI held a similar lead later before PC caught fire and reeled off a 6-0 run to take a 16-11 lead midway through the second set.  Kubisch added another kill and Otiniano scored an ace to lead the charge.  CSI returned fire, going on a 9-1 run to assume a 19-17 lead, highlighted by three kills each from Dumadag and Diaman.  CSI held the lead until it was 21-20, but in a set of runs, the Panthers had the final one, scoring the final five points in the set, all five coming off of CSI attack errors to clinch it for Purchase.

In a crucial third set, PC led most of the way after three lead changes early.  PC led by as many as four points on a pair of occasions, the final one at 15-11 when Christopher Williams posted a kill, but CSI responded with a 8-4 run to tie the game at 19-19, using a Zebin Guo kill to start the run and a Michael Liang kill to finish.  A Kubisch kill stopped the run, however, and Purchase assumed control.  Down 24-22, CSI used a point to come close thanks to an error, but a kill by Otiniano clinched the set for Purchase, 25-23.

With their backs up against the wall and needing a win, CSI responded in a big way in the fourth set.  Things look bleak when the Dolphins fell behind, 14-9, thanks to more Otiniano and Kubisch kills, but CSI again broke through and finally forced a 20-20 tie late on a Liang kill.  CSI would score the next five points as well, as PC committed three errors and CSI responded with Herman Liu and Liang kills.

That forced a fifth and deciding set between the two sides, marking the first five-set match of the season for the Dolphins.  In a fitting finish, the two sides went back-and-forth the entire way.  After PC went up 4-1 early, CSI powered back to take their first lead at 6-5 on a Liu kill.  He added another to give CSI an 8-7 lead as the teams switched sides.  The Panthers refused to go away and stayed within a point each time.  CSI took its final lead at 13-12 on a Diaman kill.  Purchase asked for time and at the end of the break, they responded with the match’s final run.  Otiniano scored a kill to tie it at 13-13, and after a CSI attack error, their 46th of the game, Kubisch popped in his 16th kill of the game to seal it at 15-13.

The win for Purchase evened the season series they have with CSI at 1-1, with both teams winning on the other’s court this season.

Kubisch would tie with Otiniano with 16 kills to lead the way.  Williams posted 35 assists and 18 digs to lead in those departments for the victors.  For CSI, Dumadag posted 16 kills while Diaman finished with 13.  Adil El Haddad finished with 45 assists while Guo posted 20 digs while senior Tisbe was right behind at 18.  CSI out-killed Purchase, 57-47, but CSI committed 46 errors to PC’s 30.

The Dolphins will officially wrap up their season on Sunday, when they travel to Stevens Institute for a non conference tri-match against both Hunter College at 1:00 pm and the hosts at 3:00 pm.