DALLAS, PA. -- The Trine University men's volleyball team dropped its first two matches of the two-day Misericordia (Pa.) University Invitational with a 3-0 loss to Randolph-Macon (Va.) College and 3-1 to host school Misericordia.
In Trine's first match against Randolph-Macon, the Thunder fell by the scores of 23-25, 22-25 and 24-26. Trine (2-5) led, 3-2, early in the first set, but four straight points by Randolph-Macon put the Yellow Jackets ahead, 6-3. Later in the set, Trine came back to regain the lead as part of a 4-0 run of its own that included kills by freshmen Kyle Dixon (Lockport, Ill./Lockport Township) and Dan Boren (Fort Wayne, Ind./Homestead) to make it a 13-11 game. Trine later went on to lead by seven points, 21-14, following a kill by freshman Eric Santiago-Garcia (San Juan, Puerto Rico/Glen Ridge), but Randolph-Macon then went on an 11-2 run to end the set and claim the victory by a final of 25-23.
In set two, the Yellow Jackets jumped out to a 5-1 early lead. Trine fought its way back and took an 11-10 lead on a service ace by Santiago-Garcia, but an ensuing 4-0 run by the Yellow Jackets put RMC back ahead on the scoreboard. The Thunder regained a one-point advantage late, 19-18, but another 4-0 run by the Jackets, put them out in front for good en route to posting a 25-22 final to take the second set and a commanding 2-0 overall match lead.
The third set saw Trine score the first four points that included a pair of aces by Santiago-Garcia en route to having a 6-1 advantage aided by kills by Santiago-Garcia and Boren. Trine led for a good portion of the set until RMC came back to even the score at 18-18 and would not take the lead until late in the set by a score of 25-24. The Yellow Jackets then secured the match on the very next point to claim the 26-24 and the 3-0 match win.
Against Misericordia, the Thunder fell by the scores of 18-25, 22-25, 26-24, 20-25. In the first set, Misericordia led 7-3 early and led by as many as seven points with a score of 24-17. Trine gained a point on a service error, but the Cougars secured the first-set win on an ensuing Trine service error to take the 25-18 win.
In set two, both teams played a competitive game early on until Misericordia gained some breathing room with a six-point margin by a score of 15-9. Trine then scored three straight points that included an ace by Dixon that made the score 15-12. The Cougars answered with three straight points of their own following the Dixon ace to extend the lead back to six points, 18-12, to take control of the set. The Thunder pulled to within a pair of points several times down the stretch with the last one being a 24-22 deficit after an ace by freshman Luke Maier (Colorado Springs, Colo./Doherty). Misericordia then talled the set-winning point on a service error to win, 25-22, and claim a 2-0 match lead.
The third set saw Trine trail, 5-3, when the Thunder went on a 7-0 run featured by kills by Santiago-Garcia, Boren and Dixon to boast a 10-5 advantage. Misericordia fought its way back into the set and had a one-point edge, 22-21, before the two teams battled to a 24-24 tie. After a kill by Santiago-Garcia that gave Trine the lead, Santiago-Garcia then clinched the set for the Thunder with an ace to make the final, 26-24.
In set number four, Trine scored the first three points and led, 4-1, early on. Trine maintained a lead until the Cougars went on a 6-0 run that led to a 14-11 margin for the home squad and never trailed again. Trine got to within two points, 21-19, after a kill by Dixon, but Misericordia was able to tally the final four points it needed to claim the set, 25-20, and the overall match by a final of 3-1.
Santiago-Garcia ended the first day of competition with a combined 21 kills, with 12 coming against Misericordia, and had a .131 attack percentage. Boren and Dixon also finished in double digits in kills with Boren tallying 12 kills (.300 attack percentage) and Dixon having 11 kills. Junior Hunter Monday (Beech Grove, Ill./Roncalli) set up the offense with 42 total assists (6.00 assists per set) and Santiago-Garcia and Dixon both had a team-high six total aces.
Defensively, four players had 10 or more digs with Maier leading the way with 15 (2.14 digs per set). Santiago-Garcia was second with 12 digs, followed by freshman Raviel Winters (Elwood, Ill./Joliet Central) with 11 digs and Monday added 10 digs. Boren led the team in total blocks with three (three assists) and Monday recorded a pair of blocks (two assists).
Trine will conclude the two-day event tomorrow (Saturday, Feb. 2) with its final two matches beginning with a matchup against Sage (N.Y.) College at 11 a.m. followed by a match against Elizabethtown (Pa.) University at 1 p.m. in Dallas, Pa.