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April 7, 2012

Falcons Come From Behind in 5-Set Thriller; Clinch Playoff Spot

With a 3-2 (13-25, 24-26, 26-24, 27-25, 17-15) victory over Johnson & Wales on Saturday afternoon, the Albertus Magnus men's volleyball team clinched the fifth seed of the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) postseason tournament, which is scheduled to begin on Tuesday night.

Tuesday will mark the Falcons first-ever appearance in the GNAC Tournament in their four-year program history. Albertus finishes the regular season with an 18-8 overall record and a 6-8 record in GNAC play.

In today's five-set victory, the Falcons came back to win the final three sets after losing the first two. The Falcons registered 67 kills on the afternoon along with 59 digs and 61 assists. With the loss, JWU drops to 16-16 on the year and 8-6 in the league standings.

Brendan Charamut (Southington, Conn.) led the Falcons with a season-high 29 kills in 68 attempts as he hit .309 on the afternoon. Charamut added six digs and one block as well.

Albertus had just seven kills and eight hitting errors in the first set as JWU cruised to a 25-13 victory to open the match. Albertus bounced back in the second set but fell 26-24, despite posting 17 kills in 40 tries. In the third set, the Wildcats took a 16-9 lead before the Falcons were able to tie the score at 23. After the score went to 24 apiece, a kill by Charamut followed by a ball handling error on JWU, gave the Falcons their first set victory of the match.

The fourth set was another close match-up as Albertus won 27-25. The Falcons led 19-15 thanks to a kill by Glenn Johnson (Newington, Conn.) then took a 23-19 lead before a JWU time out. Following the break, JWU was able to tie the score at 24 then at 25 before back-to-back Albertus kills secured the win. Both Charamut and Johnson tallied five kills each in the set to lead Albertus.

The fifth set was again a close one as the Falcons took the 17-15 victory. Charamut posted four kills in the set en route to the win as Carlos Torres (Adjuntas, Puerto Rico) recorded eight of his 54 total assists in the frame. JWU recorded eight kills and eight hitting errors in the set, while Albertus tallied nine kills in 21 tries. The score was tied 10 times in the final set as JWU took as much as a four-point lead at 13-9 before the Falcons came from behind once again to tie the set at 13. With the score tied at 15, two Wildcat attack errors ended the set with the Falcons securing the match victory.

Johnson finished the match with 10 kills along with nine digs, while Chase Brinton (Bethany, Conn.) added 11 kills and 12 digs. Douglas DeSousa (Danbury, Conn.) contributed with a team-best 15 digs, while Chris Pfeffer (Torrington, Conn.) added six kills and six digs.

JWU was led by Chris Espinola with 16 kills in 32 ties, while J.J. Bessette recorded 47 assists and 13 digs.

Albertus will head to Wentworth on Tuesday for the first round of the GNAC Tournament. That match is set for 7:00 p.m.