MISENHEIMER, N.C. – Caleb Brophy (Mission Viejo, CA) put down a match-high 20 kills and hit .441 to lead Pfeiffer University to a 3-1 (25-20, 25-23, 23-25, 25-21) victory over visiting NJIT in NCAA I Conference Carolinas men’s volleyball action on Friday night. The Falcons improve to 13-6 overall while the Highlanders drop to 4-18.
Kyle Mariano (Kendall Park, NJ) put down his first kill of the night to give Pfeiffer an 8-6 lead while Brophy connected on his second of the night to push the advantage to four. Micah Bortner (Dallastown, PA) would put down a pair of kills in a three-play span sending the Pfeiffer lead to 14-12. A pair of Falcon miscues would get the Highlanders even at 14-14 until Mariano picked up a pair of final kills late for a 25-20 set one win.
Mariano, coupled with a NJIT attack error, put Pfeiffer up 7-3 in set two until Herman Kantushov (Qiryat Ono, ISRAEL) smacked down three kills to help the Highlanders grab an 11-10 lead. NJIT would maintain a lead until Eric Edelman (Henrietta, NY) helped start a Pfeiffer comeback while four-straight NJIT attack errors, two via Falcon blocks from Edelman, Mariano and David Specian (Loxahatchee, FL), concluded set two with Pfeiffer coming back for a 25-23 win.
Up 13-11 in set three, Pfeiffer would see the error bug bite them as three-straight miscues put NJIT up 14-13 trying to avoid elimination. Brophy would even the set at 20-20 while Bortner did the same two points later at 21-21. Tied 22-22 after another Brophy kill, Andrei Stoyanow (Sao Paulo, BRAZIL) picked up a kill while a final Pfeiffer error gave NJIT the all-important two-point lead. Brophy would get the set to 24-23 until Stoyanow put down the final kill for a 25-23 NJIT win sending the match to a fourth set.
Kevin Van Oss (Dayton, OH) gave the Highlanders a 14-9 lead in the fourth as Pfeiffer started to chip away at the deficit using two more Mariano kills. Brophy would get the match all square at 16-16 with his 17th kill of the evening while picking up his final three over the final series of eight plays as the Falcons were victorious 25-21 in the 3-1 match win.
Behind Brophy’s 20 kills, Mariano picked up 13 hitting a career-high .480 in the win. Bortner would conclude with 10 kills while Specian assisted 46 times. Brophy would also lead the team with nine digs in the win. Kantushov would pace the Highlanders with a dozen kills in a losing effort.
Bortner, Mariano, Edelman, Mark Hess (Lebanon, PA), Blake Dowdle (Farmington, NY) and Brophy were all recognized in a pregame ceremony on senior night. Five of those six seniors have been with the men’s volleyball program since its inception in 2010.
Pfeiffer gets back on the court Tuesday night traveling to Mount Olive for a 7:00 p.m. league tilt with the Trojans. Live stats and video will be available through http://www.gofalconsports.com.