PURCHASE, N.Y. — Four Bears finished with double-digit kills in their first Skyline Championship appearance in team history, but the No. 3 seed St. Joseph's College (Brooklyn) men's volleyball team fell to No. 2 seed Purchase College, 3-2 (22-25, 25-23, 26-28, 25-21, 15-11) in a back-and-forth semifinal at Purchase College Gym on Thursday evening.
Junior Stephen Eddy (Glendale, N.Y./Christ the King) paced the attack with a career-high 15 kills and three aces, while seniors Tim Driscoll (Staten Island, N.Y./St. Peter's) and Sean Salomons (Staten Island, N.Y./St. Peter's) chipped in 13 and 10 kills each in their final match. Sophomore Dejon St. Rose-Cuffy (Brooklyn, N.Y./Bishop Loughlin) reached double-digit kills for the first time in his career finishing with 10.
St. Joseph's ends their best season in the Skyline Conference with a 6-19 mark overall while Purchase (13-15) moves on to face defending champion and top seed SJC Long Island for the league title on Saturday.
How It Happened
The Bears fell behind by as many as six points on multiple occasions in the opening set before unleashing a 10-2 run to take a 21-19 lead and never trailed again.
Purchase built a six-point advantage once again at 17-11 in the second stanza before the Bears began to chip away at the deficit. SJC got within one three times but couldn't knot the set and erased one set point before falling 25-23.
In a third stanza of runs, four early kills by the Bears (two from Salomons and one from Eddy and Driscoll) powered a 6-1 run to open the third, prompting a PC timeout. Purchase later uses a 5-0 run to move ahead 15-12 but the Bears respond later in the frame with six straight to jump ahead 22-19. The Panthers mount a late surge with a 5-1 spurt to gain set point, 24-23. SJC erased two PC set points before earning a set point of their own and finally converted on their third with back-to-back kills from Eddy and St. Rose-Cuffy closing out the 28-26 frame.
SJC never lead in the fourth but knotted the set at 21-all before the Panthers closed out the set with four straight points to force a fifth-and-deciding set.
Neither team could build much separation in the finale. After four early ties, the Bears led 8-7 at the side change a Driscoll kill moved the Bears up 9-7. Back-to-back kills from Joe Higgins sparked a 7-0 Panther run to earn five match points and the Bears erased two before finding their run at the Skyline title come to an end.
For the Bears
- Stephen Eddy led the Bears with 19.5 points on 15 kills, three aces, and a pair of blocks also helping the back line with 17 digs.
- Tim Driscoll also finished with a double-double with 13 kills and 21 digs also adding three blocks (one solo).
- Sean Salomons had 10 kills, five blocks (three solo) and two aces.
- Dejon St. Rose-Cuffy put away 10 kills to round out four with double-digit kills and added two blocks.
- Timothy Boyd (Staten Island, N.Y./St. Peter's) dished out a career-high 44 assists falling one dig shy of a double-double.