The Kean University men's volleyball team bowed out of the NCAA Tournament in the quarterfinals as host Vassar College won by the final of 3-1 on Saturday evening.
The Cougars finished with a program-best 34 wins (34-3) on the season.
Senior Shayron Taylor finished with a game-high 21 kills (also a personal best) while hitting .581 on the night. He added four blocks and four digs while contributing 24 points.
Vassar took quick control in the first set, jumping out to a 5-0 lead. Kean settled down and got back within one behind a kill from Jared Warner and two aces from Steven Zarzycki. The Cougars tied things up for the first time at 19-all on a kill from Warner. It was a see-saw affair down the stretch with Kean tying the match up at 20, 22, and 24. The Cougars took their first lead of the day on an error by the Brewers (25-24), but Vassar quickly tied things up again with a kill from Kevin Ros off a timeout. Taylor swung the advantage back to Kean with a kill for point 26 but Vassar was able to get three straight kills for the extra time set one win, 28-26.
Set two was a swing of runs to start things off before again going toe-to-toe down the stretch. Tied at 22-all the Cougars were able to push ahead with two straight points on a kill from Nico Mercadante and a ball handling error by Vassar. The Brewers again took advantage of a timeout with two straight points to knot things up at 24-24. A kill from Dylan Flor put Kean back in the driver's seat and an attack error by the Brewers knotted the match up at one-all, 26-24.
Kean jumped out to an early advantage in set three, but behind Matthew Knigge, the Brewers turned an 11-8 deficit into a 14-11 lead. The Cougars were never able to regain the lead in the set, clawing as close as two points on two occasions.
The Cougars pushed ahead behind Taylor and Jay Bynum in the fourth set and led 17-12. The tide shifted and Vassar rolled off seven straight points to take the lead for good. Kean would battle to within two but it wasn't enough to overcome late.
Ian Capp finished with 52 assists on the night along with two aces, three blocks, and nine digs. Warner registered eight kills (.412 hitting %) with seven digs.