No. 6 Vassar Knocks Off No. 1 Nazareth In VC Invitational


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Poughkeepsie, N.Y. - With a capacity crowd filling Walker Fieldhouse, the No.6 Vassar men's volleyball team played giant-killer, upsetting the CSTV/AVCA No. 1 seed Nazareth College with a clean three game sweep 30-23, 30-28, 30-24.

The Brewers, who seem certain to move up in the national rankings, downed the No. 1 nationally-ranked team for the first time in school history.

Vassar had earlier swept Johnson & Wales to go 2-0 on the opening night of the Vassar College Invitational, and improve their season record to 12-5. Vassar will take on Philadelphia Biblical in the championship game tomorrow at eleven. Nazareth will face. Johnson & Wales at the same time.

The Brewers never trailed in the opener against Nazareth, but could not pull away from the Golden Flyers until late in the game. The two teams played within three points of each other until a 6-1 Brewer rally increased an 18-17 advantage to 24-18. Sophomore Phil Tully (Huntington Station, NY/Walt Whitman) and junior John Kessenich (Chicago, IL/Richard Montgomery) combined on a big block during the run, two of the Brewers' six blocks in the game. Tom Pawlowski (Havertown, PA/Haverford) keyed the Vassar attack, going a perfect 5-for-5 in the win.

Three early Nazareth blocks, including two from Ryan Johnsen (Hamburg, NY/Hamburg), helped put the Flyers up 6-2, but as in the opener neither team could enjoy early momentum. The Brewers pulled back with a score quickly, and took their first lead of the game on a well-placed Tully kill at 13-12. Neither team could take more than a one point lead until a 5-2 Vassar run put the Brewers up 27-24. Scott Leserman (Manhattan Beach, CA/Mira Costa) pulled off an acrobatic, outstretched solo block and Pawlowski added a service ace in the run. The Flyers came back to within a point, but Tully picked up two more of his game-high 20 kills to take the game.

Nazareth had its best chance for a win in the third game, jumping out to an 11-2 lead. The Brewers inched their way back, and were within three points at 19-16 when Leserman stepped up to serve. Backed up by an impressive defensive effort from his teammates, Leserman spread his serves all over the court on a 6-0 run that put the Brewers up for good. Pawlowski put the finishing touch on the upset with the final kill of the match.

Pawlowksi had 9 total kills against Nazareth. Leserman tallied a game-high 15 digs.

The Flyers were led offensively by Tom Maving (Tonawanda, NY/Canisius) with 12 kills. Frank Leahy (Smithtown, NY/Smithtown) chipped in team highs with 35 assists and 9 digs.

Vassar vs. JWU

The Brewers swept Johnson & Wales in their opening match, 30-14, 30-28, 30-23. Vassar took the first game early, riding strong serving from Tom Pawlowski to a dominating 13-1 lead that put the game well out of reach.

The Wildcats came back quickly in the second game, with the two teams playing within three points of each other for the entirety of the contest. Johnson & Wales broke a late 27-27 tie by forcing a Brewers' attack error, but could not score again as the Brewers got two quick kills. Phil Tully picked up both of Vassar's final two points.

Vassar again took early control in game three, getting runs of 7-1 and 8-1 to go up 18-10 on the Wildcats. The visitors made the game as close as 20-16 with five straight points, but could get no closer in the loss.

Tully led the Brewers in their opening game with 10 kills and .467 attack percentage. Kyle Giunta had a game-high 13 digs.

Albert Trevino (San Antonio, TX) displayed versatility in the loss with 5 kills, 21 assists, and 7 digs. Sean Lauro (West Roxbury, MA) led the Wildcats with 9 kills.

Other Games

PBU vs. Nazareth

No. 15 Philadelphia Biblical had an upset of their own, sweeping No. 1 Nazareth 31-29, 30-24, 30-23. The Crimson Eagles dominated the net, outblocking the Golden Flyers 16.5 to 4.

Justin Brubaker (Telford, PA/Souderton) paced all players with 16 kills. Leandro Dueck (Litiz, PA/Lancaster Mennonite) sparked the Eagles' defensive effort with 7 total blocks.

Joe Petzoldt (Phelps, NY/Midlakes) led Nazareth with 14 kills.


The Eagles swept the Wildcats 30-25, 30-24, 30-25 to go 2-0 on the day and set up their meeting with Vassar in the championship. Brubaker led the attack with 13 kills, with Jon Rose (Doylestown, PA/Central Bucks West) led the team with 10 digs.

Article courtesy of Vassar athletics.

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