Bulldogs Drop Nailbiter to Saints

Photo courtesy of Mike Dickie
Photo courtesy of Mike Dickie

ADRIAN, Mich. – The Adrian College men's volleyball team lost a close contest to Aquinas College in match two of the Michigan Men's Volleyball Invitational on Friday, Jan. 11. The Saints prevailed in a five-set battle to win the match 3-2 in which three sets were decided by the minimum of two points.

THE BASICS

Final Score: Aquinas 3, Adrian 2 (25-23, 23-25, 18-25, 25-13, 15-13)

Location: Adrian, Mich. (Merillat Sport and Fitness Center)

Records: AC 1-1, AQ 2-0

HOW IT HAPPENED

The first set would set the tone for the rest of the match, as it was back and forth the whole way with neither team able to pull ahead. The largest lead of the set was an Adrian 16-12 advantage. AC would have a 22-19 lead before Aquinas took six of the last seven to steal the set 25-23. Each team was hitting above .300, with the Saints having a slim advantage of .333 over the Bulldogs' .321.

Adrian would take the second set, which was just as close as the first. Despite being down early, the Black and Gold battled back to take a 20-18 lead. AC would then hold off an Aquinas comeback and won five of the last six points to even the match score at one a piece. Adrian ramped up its hitting in that set, connecting at a .333 rate.

Aquinas had an early 2-1 lead in the third set but that would be the only time it was in the lead during the middle frame as Adrian took the lead and didn't trail again. The Bulldogs went on to take the set 25-18 and put them 25 points away from victory. The Saints had other plans, taking the first nine points en route to a convincing 25-13 set win to force the decisive fifth set. Their offense was red hot, hitting .394 to Adrian's .075.

With the match on the line the two teams traded blows in the final set, with Adrian taking the lead only to have Aquinas tie the score on the next point. This process repeated six times before the Saints took two in a row to have a 7-6 lead. The Bulldogs would then play the role of tying the match on the next point, which continued until Aquinas had a 10-8 lead. AC would have a 13-12 lead before Aquinas won three points in a row to take the set 15-13 and the match 3-2.

TOP DOGS

• Junior Noah Marcinkowski and senior Michael Burkhardt had almost half of Adrian's kills with 13 and 12, respectively.

• Junior Joseph Campana racked up 45 assists for the Bulldogs.

• Junior Kevin Curley sold out for a team-high 22 digs while Marcinkowski and senior Mike Gold each picked up 2.5 blocks.

THE OPPOSITION

• Zane Moothard finished with 20 kills for Aquinas.

• Colby Elder notched 56 assists.

• Elder and Josh Evers tied for the team lead in digs with 13 for the Bulldogs, while Will Donald picked up 3.5 blocks.

UP NEXT

Adrian will wrap-up play in the Michigan Men's Volleyball Invitational tomorrow with another pair of games. The Bulldogs play MCVL opponent Olivet at 9 a.m. to start the day and end the invitational with the final match against Siena Heights at 1:30 p.m.

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