CINCINNATI, OHIO -- The Trine University men's volleyball team traveled to Cincinnati, Ohio to take on Midwest Collegiate Volleyball League opponent Mount St. Joseph University, but fell to the Lions by the final of 3-0.
Trine (6-17, 0-3 MCVL) was outlasted by Mount St. Joseph (5-15, 1-2 MCVL) in the first set, 25-22. Despite falling behind early, 4-1, the Thunder stayed within striking distance and worked their way back to a 9-9 tie and eventually took a 12-11 lead on back-to-back points as the result of a pair of MSJ errors. With the score even at 13-13, MSJ took the lead with three consecutive points to gain some breathing room by a score of 16-13. Trine would mount one final rally by tying the game at 21-21 following a kill by freshman Kyle Dixon (Lockport, Ill./Lockport Township). But the Lions responded with another 3-0 scoring run to go up by three points en route to the 25-22 final.
The second set featured another close battle between the two teams until the midway point when MSJ began to pull away with a series of small scoring runs. The Lions increased their lead to as many as six points late, 22-16, and looked to be headed to a sizeable victory. Trine then outscored MSJ, 7-2, to make it a one-point game following another kill by Dixon for a, 24-23, deficit. MSJ then tallied the final point on a Trine service error to claim a 25-23 win and increased its overall match lead to 2-0.
MSJ dominated the third set that was decided by a 13-0 Lion run and led to a 19-3 margin. The deficit would be too much for the Thunder to overcome as the home squad recorded the final points it needed to go on to win the set by a final of 25-7 and sweep the overall match, 3-0.
Dixon finished with a team-high seven kills to lead the Thunder offensively. Freshman Eric Santiago-Garcia was second with five kills and the trio of freshmen Luke Maier (Colorado Springs, Colo./Doherty), Jackson Condrey (Spokane, Wash./Ferris) and Dan Boren (Fort Wayne, Ind./Homestead) each added two kills.
Junior Hunter Monday (Beech Grove, Ind./Lutheran) tallied 16 of the team's 19 total assists to set up the Thunder attack.
Defensively, Monday tallied a team-best seven digs and was followed by junior Blake Grosse (Belleville, Ill./Belleville Twp. West) with six digs. At the net, Maier led the team with a game-tying high four total blocks (two solo and two assists).
Trine will look to get back on track when it hosts Adrian (Mich.) College in a MCVL contest on Friday, Mar. 22 at Hershey Hall. The match is slated to start at 7 p.m.