Tully Records 1,000th Kill as DIII No. 8 Vassar Sweeps NJCU


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POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. - With 10 kills, four of which came in the final set, senior Phil Tully (Huntington Station, NY/Walt Whitman) recorded his 1,000th career kill, and in the process led the No. 8 ranked Brewers to a 30-19, 30-18, 30-23 victory over visiting New Jersey City University in a NECVA Metro Division match. Tully, who now has 1,001 kills in his career, becomes only the 5th place in school history to achieve this milestone.

The victory raises the Brewers to 16-4, 6-2 and pushes them into third place in the Metro Division. NJCU drops to 14-9, 3-1 and sits in fourth place in the Metro. The win improved Vassar to 10-0 against the Gothic Knights and served as a prelude to a rematch at No. 1 ranked Springfield on Tuesday, March 10. NJCU, which was playing its third match in as many days, will play its fourth straight at Yeshiva on Sunday.

The match had a familiar tone. Each of the three sets were even until the mid-point and then the Brewers took command. Only the third and final set was contested, with Vassar holding a 21-19 lead following a kill by sophomore hitter Evan Fredricksen (Menlo Park, CA/Menlo Atherton). But the Brewers reeled off nine of the next 15 points to break away, assisted by a couple of kills from Tully and several attack errors from NJCU.

Vassar capitalized on 33 NJCU attack errors -- the Gothic Knights had 34 team kills on 112 attempts -- and got timely kills from Tully and senior Steve Micucci (Millis, MA/Millis) who had 11 kills, just one attack error and hit .625 for the match. As a team, Vassar hit .302.

The second set was primarily Vassar from start-to-finish after the Brewers broke free from a 7-7 score. The Gothic Knights were able to close within 16-14 following a Vassar service error but NJCU was plagued by attack errors and were unable to close the game.

In the opening set, Vassar broke out to a quick 13-7 lead following a kill from Fredricksen and with Micucci serving increased that margin to 20-11. Three straight attack errors by NJCU raised the lead to 23-11 and Vassar maintained control from that point.

Vassar senior John Kessenich (Chicago, IL/Richard Montgomery), who came into the match ranked No. 8 nationally in set assists, finished with 29. Senior libero Scott Leserman (Manhattan Beach, CA/Mira Costa), the nation's leader in digs per game, finished with 14.

NJCU's senior outside hitter Marley Pena-Guzman (Atlanta, GA/Central Gwinnett) led his team with 10 kills and was followed by freshman middle block Austin Bryant (Virginia Beach, VA/Kempsville) with 7 kills. Sophomore setter Justin Beaumont (Bayonne, NJ/Bayonne), who is one of the top 30 assist players in the nation, had 29 in the match.

Article courtesy of Vassar athletics.

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