MISENHEIMER, N.C. – The Pfeiffer University men’s volleyball team opened up the 2011 season with a 3-1 weekend at the Hampton Inn & Sleep Inn EMU DII/DIII Classic hosted by Eastern Mennonite University. The year started with a 3-0 sweep over the City College of New York and 3-1 loss to Medaille on Friday night. Day two saw the Falcons sweep both matches picking up 3-1 victories over Lancaster Bible and host EMU.
MATCH ONE: Pfeiffer 3, CCNY 0 (25-19, 25-15, 25-11)
The Falcons had no problem taking care of CCNY to grab their first victory of the season in straight sets. Drew Burdette led the way with eight kills while Josh Mahan and Eric Edelman each had six. All three Falcons hit over .400 in the match. Evan Fullerton dished out 25 assists while libero Mark Hess picked up seven digs. As a team, Pfeiffer hit .443 in the win which includes hitting .588 in the final set.
MATCH TWO: Medaille 3, Pfeiffer 1 (25-23, 25-27, 25-23, 25-17)
The first bump in the road came later on Friday night at the hands of Medaille. The first three sets were all decided by the minimum two points while Medaille pulled away later in set four. Burdette continued his hot start with 17 kills to pace the Falcons. Fullerton tossed up 40 more assists while Hess added six digs. Pfeiffer hit .256 as a team adding 10 blocks against Medaille.
MATCH THREE: Pfeiffer 3, Lancaster Bible 1 (25-7, 25-11, 22-25, 25-12)
The Falcons cruised early in sets one and two before falling in set three. Pfeiffer bounced back with another easy win in set four for the match victory. Burdette started Saturday like he ended Friday with a team high 13 kills hitting .667. Josh Mahan added nine kills with Micah Bortner and Michael McLaughlin each added a half-dozen. Fullerton put up 29 more assists while Hess led again with 11 digs. Pfeiffer hit .619 in set one leading to a .391 match hitting percentage.
MATCH FOUR: Pfeiffer 3, Eastern Mennonite 1 (34-32, 22-25, 25-17, 25-22)
Pfeiffer trailed 24-21 in set one facing game point until they rallied all the way back to grab a 34-32 opening set win. After EMU squared the match at one apiece, the Falcons rolled to wins in set three and four to complete the weekend. McLaughlin paced the Falcons with a dozen kills while Burdette and Eric Edelman each had 10. Fullerton dished out 39 assists to end the weekend while Edelman also had the team high in digs with 10. Defense also played very well with 12 blocks holding EMU to hitting just .042.
Pfeiffer, playing as an official division one sport in men’s volleyball, will get its first taste of a division one atmosphere traveling to Ball State for a pair of games in two weeks. The Falcons will take on the hosts Friday, February 4th at 7:30 p.m. while facing Mount St. Joseph’s on Saturday at 5:30 p.m.