Newton, Mass. – The Albertus Magnus College men's volleyball team fell on the road to Mount Ida, 3-1, on Wednesday evening in Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) action inside the MIC Athletic Center. The Mustangs earned their first conference win of the year by a score of 25-22, 25-17, 21-25, 25-21.
The Falcons see their four-game winning streak come to an end with the setback to move to 4-3 on the year and 0-2 in conference games, while Mount Ida improved to 5-9 overall and 1-2 in league contests.
Senior James Ames (W. Hartford, Conn.) racked up 25 kills as Mount Ida took a two set lead with 25-22 and 25-17 victories and then held off the Falcons as the teams traded 25-21 wins in sets three and four.
Ames was one of three Mustangs to set a new career high, eclipsing his previous mark of 23 kills from a year ago. He was joined by junior Peter Griffenkranz (Deer Park, N.Y.), who turned in a new career high of 18 kills, and senior Jimmy Wessel (DeKalb, Ill.), who recorded a new personal best of 47 assists.
Justin Tharau (Burlington, Conn.) paced the Falcons with a double-double, notching 14 kills and collecting 12 digs.
Ames and Griffenkranz each posted double-doubles as well and opened the match hitting .474 through the first two games. The Mustangs broke a 22-22 tie in the first set by winning three straight points, capping their win with a service ace by Tyler Shinkle (West Deptford, N.J.).
Griffenkranz turned in 13 digs, while Ames had 12 digs and three service aces to go with his eventual .462 hitting percentage at the end of the night.
Ames had eight kills in the second set and Mount Ida turned an 11-9 deficit into a 19-13 lead en route to a two sets to none victory.
The Falcons got a serving run from Chris Taylor (Bronx, N.Y.) to jump out to a 6-1 advantage in set number three and used three kills from Tharau and two each from Ben Spilka (Reddng, Conn.) and Jeremy Ortiz (Bridgeport, Conn.), who served up 29 assists in the match, as well as 12 attacking errors by the Mustangs to grab a 25-21 win and stave off elimination.
Mount Ida put the match away by staving off a 7-2 run to open the fourth set in which Josh Turner (Trumbull, Conn.) posted two kills for the visitors. The Mustangs got their noses in front with a combined block by Wessel and Brett Southworth (Orange, Conn.) at 11-10, and did not relinquish the lead, though it stayed at no more than three points until Ames's 25th kill of the night delivered the four-point victory.
Freshman TJ Nicholas (Shelton, Conn.) was in on three blocks and recorded nine digs and two service aces, as well as five kills in the victory.
Spilka posted seven each of kills and digs, while Turner gave the Falcons a nine-kill performance.
As a team, Albertus Magnus registered 34 kills, 45 digs and seven blocks.
Albertus Magnus returns to action on Saturday, February 27, with a pair of non-conference games in a tri-match at York College.