BROOKLYN, NY – The St. Joseph's College (Brooklyn) men's volleyball team donned purple uniforms for Pancreatic Cancer Awareness and pushed their opponent to four sets for the second straight game, but couldn't hold off Purchase College falling 3-1 (21-25, 25-21, 25-19, 25-15) on Monday night at Brooklyn Technical High School.
Junior Martin Torres (Ozone Park, NY/St. Francis Prep) paced the St. Joseph's (4-9, 2-3 HVMAC) attack recording his third game with double-digit kills with 11. Senior Muhammad Ali Bhatti (Brooklyn, NY/James Madison) anchored the defense with 12 digs and served up five aces while fellow senior Maciej Sadowski (Brooklyn, NY/Cathedral Prep) added 10 digs, and four of the team's six blocks on the night. Sophomore Iqbal Husain (West Palm Beach, FL/West Palm Beach) handed out 19 assists.
Purchase (2-12, 0-9 Skyline) was led by Mateo Morel and Blake Borysewicz who posted double-doubles with 16 and 15 kills, respectively, and bringing up 11 digs each. Alex Billen-Calhoun directed the offense with 37 assists.
Bhatti served up three aces in the first four points and gave the Bears a 7-0 lead in the opening frame, which they wouldn't relinquish. St. Joseph's led by as many as nine, and the Panthers made a late charge cutting the deficit to three, 24-21, until Sadowski and Raul Urshela (Orlando, FL/Colonial) combined for an emphatic block to close out the set.
The Bears held a slim lead midway through the second set, 14-11, but Purchase started to find their groove offensively and scored five unanswered points to take the lead for good. St. Joseph's managed to produce 27 kills, their third highest tally this season, but Purchase outpaced the Bears combining for 46 kills and hitting .197 over the final three sets. The Bears remained within reach throughout the third and fourth sets but couldn't seize the lead again.
After playing five games in as many days, the Bears have three days off before returning to the court on Friday, March 16 for an HVMAC road tilt against Webb Institute with first serve slated for 7 pm.