Vahalla

BEVERLEY, Mass. -– No. 14 Kean swept Endicott 3-0 on Sunday to secure a spot in the quarterfinals and earn the third-year program's first victory in the NCAA Division III Men's Volleyball Championship. Senior Steve Vahalla led all players with 17 kills on the day.

The two teams felt each other out in the first set, which was tied a remarkable total of 13 times. Finally, with the score 17-17, Kean was able to get four-consecutive points (two of them Vahalla kills) to take control. At set point, Tommy Rosario and John Cunningham teamed for a block that secured the 25-21 win.

The Cougars got off to a good start in Game 2, as Cunningham served five-consecutive points early on to give Kean a 10-6 lead. Another four-point run by the Cougars with Michal Kucza serving put the set out of reach and made the match score 2-0.

The third set was tight, and tied as late as 21-21. Ed Jedziniak and Alex Barnhard killed the next two points for the Cougars, and though the Gulls got within one, Cunningham and Kyle Farley killed the next two points to deliver the sweep and the 25-22 set victory.

Kean outhit the Gulls .340 to .117 in what was the most telling statistic of the match. Both teams had exactly 94 attacks, but the Cougars killed 45 of those as opposed to Endicott's 29.

Vahalla, Farley and Barnhard all had outstanding hitting days, putting up kill percentages of .500, .455 and .429, respectively. Barnhard also led all players with 34 assists.