BUFFALO, N.Y. – The Pfeiffer University men’s volleyball made history this weekend kicking off their 2010 inaugural season with four matches in the Nickel City Invitational in upstate New York. The Falcons won their first-ever set play, but dropped the opening match 3-1 (30-26, 23-30, 20-30, 18-30) to D’Youville College. Pfeiffer bounced back for the first-ever match win in a 3-0 (30-14, 30-22, 30-23) sweep over Hilbert College in the nightcap. On Saturday, the Falcons were swept 3-0 (21-30, 30-32, 26-30) by Medaille College, again bouncing back for a win in the trip finale over Johnson and Wales out of Rhode Island. Pfeiffer took care of JWRI 3-1 (30-22, 27-30, 30-25, 30-26).
MATCH ONE: D’Youville 3, Pfeiffer 1
History began for the Falcons as Andrew Whalen, Eric Edelman, Michael Dhalle, Micah Bortner, Clancy Gay, Evan Fullerton and libero Mark Hess all took the floor at 4:00 p.m. Pfeiffer took their very first set win in the opener holding off D’Youville 30-26. The Spartans rallied for a set two win 30-23, before securing 30-20 and 30-18 set wins to clinch the match in four. D’Youville hit .303 in the final set, hitting .168 for the match. The young Falcons hit .051 in their inaugural match.
Bortner had a match-high 17 kills, hitting a team-high .267, to lead the Falcons. Gay also finished the night with double-digit kills with 10. In addition, Fullerton delivered with 40 assists as Hess led with 13 digs. D’Youville scored a pair of 13-kill performances by Chris Temple and Jeremy Sajdak in the win. Pfeiffer did out-block the Spartans 13-8.
MATCH TWO: Pfeiffer 3, Hilbert 0
The Falcons first-ever match win as a varsity program came in quick fashion sweeping Hilbert in three. Gay led with a team-high 11 kills followed closely by Edleman’s 10. Fullerton again led the way in the helper category with 44 assists. Pfeiffer hit .294 for the match, including a .400 mark in set two.
Hilbert was led by Dan Wolfe’s six kills and Richard Sykora’s five. The Hawks committed 32 errors hitting just .093 in the loss.
MATCH THREE: Medaille 3, Pfeiffer 0
Medaille came out of the gate on Saturday morning hitting .577 in the first set en route to the sweep. The Mavericks hit .346 for the match and were led by Ryan Murdie’s 14 kills. Ryan Metz finished with 13. Sam Arnold had a game-high 38 assists.
For the Falcons, Bortner was the only offensive player to end up in double-figures in the kill department at 14. Fullerton again assisted very well helping out of 23 of the team’s 24 assists. The early morning match saw the visitors hit just .144 for the three sets.
MATCH FOUR: Pfeiffer 3, Johnson & Wales (RI) 1
Mariano and Gay paced the Falcons with 17 kills leading to a tournament-finale win in Buffalo. Edelman had a dozen kills for a .667 hitting percentage. Fullerton put up a new season-high with 65 assists. As a team, the Falcons hit .355 in set one and finished the day with a .317 mark in set four.
Before anyone stepped onto a court, the season didn’t exactly start the way anyone had planned. The Falcons were originally supposed to arrive in Buffalo on Thursday night, but bad weather in Charlotte caused their flight to be delayed, which in turn caused them to miss their connector in Atlanta. Pfeiffer had to catch the first flight of out Atlanta to Buffalo on Saturday morning.
The Falcons now look ahead to their first-ever Conference Carolinas match to take place on Thursday night, February 4th. Pfeiffer will travel to Mount Olive to take on the Trojans at 7:00 p.m.