Men's Volleyball Edged Out by Yeshiva in Five-Set Thriller

Men's Volleyball Edged Out by Yeshiva in Five-Set Thriller

BROOKLYN, N.Y.—Despite four Bears recording double-double efforts and taking a 2-1 set lead, the St. Joseph's College (Brooklyn) men's volleyball team was edged out by Yeshiva University in five sets, 25-21, 22-25, 23-25, 25-21, 15-13, in a battle for first place in the Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference on Tuesday night at The Hill Center.

The Bears (7-5, 1-1 HVIAC) suffer their second straight loss and first in league play pushing the two-time defending HVIAC champion Maccabees (6-10, 3-1 HVIAC) to the limit. With the win, Yeshiva takes a one-game lead in atop the league standings over St. Joseph's who falls to second.

Senior Raul Urshela (Orlando, Fla./Colonial) recorded his second double-double of the season with a match-high 20 kills and 11 digs and four blocks. Junior Thomas Kennedy (Breezy Point, N.Y./St. Edmund Prep) also notched his second double-double with 13 kills and 14 digs and fellow classmate Taso Kostikas (Brooklyn, N.Y./Midwood) registered his team-leading fourth double-double with 12 kills and a team-high 17 digs. Norrin Martinez (Maspeth, N.Y./Holy Cross) handed out 39 assists and brought up 10 digs.

Tuvia Marks, the two-time reigning HVIAC Rookie of the Week, led the Maccabees with 16 kills, hitting at a match-best .519 clip, and added four blocks. Benjamin Mann contributed 12 kills and 13 digs while Jorge Dabah dished out 46 assists on the Maccabees 54 kills.

The match was tightly contested throughout with 37 ties and 19 lead changes and each set coming down to the final points.

The hosts raced out to a early leads in the first two sets, but couldn't hold on to an 18-10 edge in the opening frame allowing the Maccabees to steal the set, but recovered in the second, winning the final four points of the set after falling behind 22-21 to level the match.

The third saw the visitors jump out to the early lead with the Bears rallying late to get to 23-20 powered by eight kills from Urshela. After three straight points from the Maccabees knotted the set at 23-all and prompted an SJC timeout, where the Bears regrouped and gained set point on a Kennedy kill, and took a 2-1 set lead on a Yeshiva miscue.

In the fourth, jockeyed back-and-forth producing 12 ties and neither team could gain more than a two-point separation for most of the stanza. But the Maccabees pulled away at the 20-20 mark, closing out the set on a 5-1 run, with four kills from Marks who finished with nine kills in the frame to force the deciding fifth set.

The Bears jumped out to an early 3-1 lead looking to remain a perfect 4-0 in five-set affairs this season, but a 6-1 Maccabee run erased the Bears only lead in the frame. Yeshiva led 8-5 at the changeover, but the Bears clawed back and leveled the set at 10-all. With the match still up for grabs tied at 13-all, an Eliakim Gartenberg kill followed by a Bears error preserved the Maccabees perfect record in 15 meetings in the all-time series.

Yeshiva and St. Joseph's will square off again in two weeks, when the home-and-home series returns to Furst Gymnasium on March 31.

The Bears will return to action continuing HVIAC play on Thursday, March 19 in a road tilt at Webb Institute starting at 7:30 p.m.