ARLINGTON, Va. – Not only rallying after dropping set one, but staying composed with a four-point deficit in the deciding set, the No. 8 Marymount men's volleyball team battled past No. 11 Southern Virginia University in extra points in the fifth set to take the 3-2 CVC victory on Saturday afternoon in the Verizon Sports Arena.
Falling in set one, 25-21, the Saints (17-6, 8-2 CVC) came through with a strong second game behind a .478 kill percentage to draw the match even with a 25-19 decision. MU only committed three attack errors in the second set, while senior TJ Wiechecki and sophomore Sam Safley dropped in five and four kills, respectively.
A closer third game had Marymount hold out its lead to the finish, 25-21, to take a 2-1 lead in the match. The Saints built up as much as a six-point lead in the late part of the game at 23-17, but the Knights (14-7, 6-4 CVC) went on a 4-1 run to draw Marymount's final timeout of the set. Out of the break, Wiechecki went up on a set from senior Erich Bratke to slam down the set point.
In the fourth set, Marymount held the advantage for much of the game before SVU crawled its way back to a tie at 15-15. For the remainder of the set, the lead changed three times and was even three more times. However, a late stretch by the Knights had them take the fourth, 25-20, to send the match into a deciding set.
Gaining the momentum with the fourth-set victory, the Knights gained the early lead in the fifth game, building up a four-point lead that held up to 9-5 and the switch to opposing sides of the court.
After the switch, the Saints came to life when junior Remington Shahan's deflection on a block attempt went to the side where Bratke slammed it down for the kill. Marymount continued to dig away at the small deficit, eventually using back-to-back Shahan kills to draw the set even at 13-13.
Each team had the set at match point twice, with the last one going in Marymount's favor. At 17-16, the Saints headed to the bench when Southern Virginia called its final timeout. Out of the break, it only took one swing on the ball to close out the match. Shahan, back for the serve, sent a ball to the back left corner of the court where the Knights backed out of the way to let it go out. However, the ball slid across the line for the service ace and the victory, 18-16.
Safley finished with a career-high 22 kills on a .277, to go with six digs and three block assists. Wiechecki added 15 kills and junior Eric Wiles chipped in 11 on a .320. Senior Connor Choate and Bratke led the Saints in digs for the day with 11 and 10, respectively, with Bratke sent out 51 assists.
At the net, the Saints totaled 19 blocks assists and two solos, headed by freshman Evan Flesher with a season-high six block assists and a solo.
Marymount heads on the road for the final time in the regular season on Tuesday, March 27 for a makeup match against Ramapo. The match will be played at Cairn University at 5:30 p.m.