Paint it Black (and Gold): Bulldogs Win Battle of Adrian

The bench mob celebrates match point in Adrian's record-setting 3-1 win over rival Siena Heights on Tuesday night (Photo by Joseph Templin).
The bench mob celebrates match point in Adrian's record-setting 3-1 win over rival Siena Heights on Tuesday night (Photo by Joseph Templin).

ADRIAN, Mich. – The Adrian College men's volleyball team took down crosstown rival Siena Heights for the first time in program history on Tuesday, Feb. 19. The 3-1 win gave the Bulldogs' their ninth win on the season, a new program high and extended the team's longest winning streak to four matches.

THE BASICS

Final Score: Adrian 3, Siena Heights 1, (25-17, 21-25, 25-19, 25-15)

Location: Adrian, Mich. (Siena Heights Fieldhouse)

Records: AC 9-5, SHU 9-5

HOW IT HAPPENED

Siena Heights had an early lead in the first set, but Adrian was able to keep it close and tied it back up at 8-8. That was in the middle of a six-point run that saw the Bulldogs takt the lead 10-8. The next few points went back and forth, but Adrian got hot late in the set, going on a 12-3 run to close out the set with a 25-17 win, the first time AC has taken a set from its rivals since becoming a varsity program. Adrian won the set with defense, forcing SHU to hit just .081 and finishing the set with 4.5 team blocks. Senior Mike Gold led the defensive effort in the first set with three blocks.

The Saints came out stronger to start the second set, and opened with a 5-1 lead, extending it to 10-3 at its largest. Adrian was able to cut the deficit down to just one point but couldn't quite figure out a way to tie the set, trailing the whole way after being up 1-0 to drop the second set, 25-21. Despite losing the set, AC hit better in the second set than the first, connecting at a .320 clip in the second to .280 in the first.

Adrian's rivals continued the trend of starting sets strong, taking an early lead once again in the third set. This time the Black and Gold were able to tie the match early on, knotting it at nine all and then taking the lead, 12-11. Adrian was able to extend its lead all the way up to eight points at its largest and went on to take the set by six, 25-19. Neither team hit well in the third set, with the Bulldogs taking a .132 to .022 advantage.

It was AC coming out hot in the fourth set, taking a 7-3 lead before the Saints decided to slow things down and talk it over with a timeout. The timeout didn't seem to phase the Bulldogs as they continued to hold the lead into the middle stages of the set, forcing Siena Heights to take its second and final timeout of the set with the score 15-8 in Adrian's favor. The second timeout didn't seem to help much either, as the Bulldogs cruised to a 25-15 victory in the fourth set to win the match 3-1 – the program's first win over Siena Heights.

TOP DOGS

• Junior Noah Marcinkowski led Adrian's offense with 16 kills while Gold joined him in double digits with 11.

• Junior setter Joseph Campana finished the match with 39 assists.

• Junior Kevin Curley led the defense with 15 digs while Campana added another 11. Gold was once again dominant at the net, tying block assists record set earlier this year with seven.

THE OPPOSITION

• Kevin Gomez and Alex Garavalia each had 10 kills for Siena Heights

• Keegan Crawford had 39 assists.

• Emilier De Jesus led the Saint's defense with 16 digs and Crawford added 10.

UP NEXT

The Bulldogs return home for their final home match for more than a month next Wednesday, Feb. 27. Adrian hosts Goshen that night, with first serve scheduled for 7 p.m. in the Merillat Sport and Fitness Center.

 

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