Thunder Fall to Bulldogs, 3-1

Thunder Fall to Bulldogs, 3-1

ANGOLA, IND.  --  The Trine University men's volleyball team dropped a 3-1 decision to Adrian (Mich.) College in a Midwest Collegiate Volleyball League match at Hershey Hall in Angola, Ind.

Leading the offense for the Thunder was freshman Kyle Dixon (Lockport, Ill./Lockport Township) with a match-high 23 kills and had a .390 hitting percentage.  Freshman Eric Santiago-Garcia (San Juan, Puerto Rico/Glen Ridge) also recorded double figures in kills with 12.  Junior Hunter Monday (Beech Grove, Ind./Lutheran) set up the offense with 51 of the team's 54 assists, which was also a match high.

Rounding out the top offensive performers was the duo of freshmen Luke Maier (Colorado Springs, Colo./Doherty) and Jackson Condrey (Spokane, Wash./Ferris) who both had a match-high three service aces.

Freshman Dan Boren (Fort Wayne, Ind./Homestead) had nine digs to lead the Trine defensive effort, followed by Monday with six digs and Condrey added five digs.  Up front, Monday and Boren led the team in blocks with a pair of block assists.

Santiago-Garcia tallied the first two points of the opening set on a kill and then an ace to give Trine (6-18, 0-4 MCVL) the early 2-0 lead.  Adrian (15-10, 3-1 MCVL) worked its way back to tie the game and eventually took the lead by a 7-4 margin.  Momentum continued to swing between the two squads as the Thunder rallied to move back ahead on the scoreboard before the Bulldogs regained control for good as part of an 8-1 scoring run that led to a 17-13 advantage and never trailed again.  Trine did mount a late rally and got to within a point, 21-20, following an error by Adrian, but the Bulldogs struck for back-to-back points to gain the breathing room they needed and to go on to the 25-23 final.

Trine got off to a positive start in the second set by jumping out to a 4-1 lead and took control with a 4-1 run with the score already in favor of the home team, 10-6, which led to the Thunder having a seven-point lead, 14-7.  During the run, Condrey tallied consecutive aces for two out of his three aces on the night.  The Thunder went on to lead by as many as eight points on multiple occasions with the last one being an 18-10 margin following a kill by Santiago-Garcia.  Adrian would get to within three points late by a score of 24-21, but Trine then netted the final point on another kill by Santiago-Garcia to claim the 25-21 set victory and even the match at a game apiece, 1-1.

The next two sets did not go in favor of the Thunder, however, despite a heavily contested third set that featured 18 ties and eight lead changes.  Neither team led by more than three points in the set which included a 24-21 advantage for Trine after a kill by Dixon.  Adrian then fought off three set points to come back to even the game at 24-24 and needed extra points to decide the outcome which eventually went in favor of the Bulldogs who recorded the final three points to claim a 29-27 victory.

Going into the fourth set with Adrian leading the overall match by a score of 2-1, the two teams played a hard-fought game early on that saw Trine lead, 5-4, following a kill by Maier.  The Bulldogs then rattled off four straight points to take the lead for good and went on to lead by as many as six points, 12-6.  Trine looked to make a rally and swung momentum in its favor with an ensuing 6-0 run, that included three aces by Maier, and led to a 12-12 tie.  Two points later, a kill by Boren evened the set at 13-13 when Adrian scored two straight points to take the lead for the final time and gradually opened up to a five-point margin, 19-14.  The deficit would prove to be enough for the visitors as Adrian matched its five-point margin four more times down the stretch which included the final score of 25-20 to take the 3-1 match victory.

Trine will return to action tomorrow (Saturday, Mar. 23) when the Thunder host Olivet (Mich.) College in a MCVL match at Hershey Hall.  The two teams are set to square off at 1 p.m.