Joe Burgarino, Sports Information Graduate Assistant
MISENHEIMER, NC- Jonathan Martinez and Sonny Hirini combined for 24 kills and a .500 hitting percentage, as the Pfeiffer volleyball team (16-7) advanced to the semifinals of the Conference Carolinas Tournament with a dominating 3-0 sweep of Limestone (10-15) on Saturday night. Martinez posted a match-high 13 kill, while Hirini chipped in with 11 kills and five digs. As a team the Falcons hit .447 compared to only .222 for the Saints and the Falcons had three more total blocks than Limestone.
In the first set senior libero Kevin Ecklund had a great game recording four of his eight digs in the set. The Saints hit .062 while the Falcons posted a hitting percentage of .500. With Pfeiffer leading 14-11, Wyatt Hamilton ignited a 5-0 run with a kill that extended the lead to 18-11, it was capped off by a service ace by Hamilton.
The second set was the closest game of the night. Pfeiffer took a 17-13 lead following a 3-0 run, which was highlighted by back-to-back Martinez service aces. The Saints answered back with a 4-0 run tying the set 17-17. Pfeiffer ended the game on a 2-0 run following a kill by Fabio Diniz and an assisted block by Hamilton and Diniz taking a 2-0 advantage.
Pfeiffer completely dominated Limestone is the final set leading from start to finish. The Falcons went on a 6-1 run following a kill by Evan Blair taking a 13-7 lead. Pfeiffer pushed the lead to 20-10 following a 4-0 run which was capped off by kills by Martinez and Hamilton en route to a quarterfinal victory.
Hamilton finished the match with nine kills, a .538 hitting percentage, and four digs. Harrison Lutz recorded a match-high 37 assists, and chipped in three block assists. Dinizhad seven kills, four solo blocks, and Blair chipped in with four total blocks.
Pfeiffer has advanced to semifinal round five consecutive years, and as a chance to play for their fourth conference tournament championship in the last five seasons.
The semifinal match will take place on Friday, April 22 at host school Erskine. The second seed Falcons will play the third seed Barton Bulldogs with the time still to be determined.