DUE WEST, SC - The Pfeiffer men’s volleyball team (10-11, 7-4 CC) completed an impressive comeback, rallying from a 2-0 deficit at conference-leading Erskine (15-6, 9-2) on Tuesday night. The Falcons stormed back to win the last three sets, including a dramatic 16-14 victory in the fifth set.
Pfeiffer dropped the first two sets and also erased a 10-7 Erskine lead in the fifth set to record the upset victory and avenge the Flying Fleet’s 3-1 win at Pfeiffer on Mar. 10.
Erskine lent a helping hand in the waning moments of the fifth set. Needing just two points to seal the victory, Erskine gave away its 13-10 lead. After a Pfeiffer timeout, Roberto Perez Vargas sent his serve into the net and teammate Michael Michelau had back-to-back attack errors to knot the score at 13. Michelau responded with a kill to give his team the match point, but freshman Evan Blair tied the game with a kill of his own. David Specian then gave Pfeiffer a 15-14 lead and the Falcons wrapped up the contest on an attack error from Mike Kawa as Erskine awarded Pfeiffer four of its final six points.
The Flying Fleet took the first two sets by identical scores of 25-21. Pfeiffer struggled from the opening point as the Falcons hit -.100 in the opening frame and .088 in the second game.
However, Pfeiffer stepped up its play in the third set and posted a .375 hitting percentage and never trailed on their way to the 25-22 victory. Blair sealed the win with a monster kill that was set by Specian.
The fourth set was tied six different times before the Falcons took over. The final tie was at 10 apiece before Pfeiffer outscored the hosts 15-7 the rest of the way to take the set 25-17. Specian and Diniz teamed up for a block on Andres Talavera to send the game into a fifth frame.
The Falcons refused to give in to the deficits they faced in the final set and drew within two games of first place with the victory. With three conference matches left to play Pfeiffer kept its hopes of winning the regular season title alive.
For the match, Michael Brewer paced Pfeiffer with 12 kills and Sonny Hirini recorded 11 kills and 11 digs. Specian added his second consecutive double-double with 36 assists and 11 digs and also chipped in seven kills, while Kevin Ecklund had a game-high 15 digs. Fabio Diniz had eight assisted blocks for Pfeiffer who finished with 16 team stuffs.
Vargas had a game-high 21 kills and Michelau had 18 kills and 11 digs for Erskine.
Pfeiffer finished the match with a .169 team hitting percentage as compared to .211 for the Flying Fleet. Erksine held a 60-50 advantage in kills but committed 19 service errors.
Pfeiffer returns to action on Saturday evening when they travel to Lees-McRae for a 7 p.m. match.