NEW YORK, N.Y.— The Marymount (Va.) University men's volleyball squad competed in a tri-match against Baruch College and host Hunter College on Saturday afternoon. The Saints battled their way past the Bearcats in a four-set victory, 3-1 (25-22, 21-25, 25-22, 25-21), and also earned a hard-fought victory over the Hawks, 3-1 (23-25, 25-21, 25-17, 25-20).
Marymount vs. Baruch
Sophomore Eric Wiles sprang into action to give the Saints a 2-0 lead to start the match. MU continued to pull ahead after capitalizing on several Bearcat errors, 7-4. The blue and white were able to hold onto their lead for much of the set, only allowing BC to tie the set on several occasions. Sophomore Remington Shahan ended the set with an ace to put the Saints on top, 1-0, 25-22.
Both squads traded points early in set two forcing several ties. Neither team saw more than a two-point lead throughout the set, until the final stretch when Baruch finished on top to win set two, 25-21.
A tough battle ensued in set three before the Saints pieced together a 4-0 run to take a commanding 12-6 lead. Towards mid-set junior Jordan Pawlicki fed junior Connor Choate for back-to-back kills to extend their lead to eight, 18-10. The Bearcats battled back to tie the set at 22 all, but three straight kills from Wiles, Choate and junior Ben Steranka sealed the victory for MU, 25-22 and the Saints pulled ahead 2-1.
In set four the Saints trailed early on before piecing together a 3-0 run to take their first lead 12-11. The momentum continued to shift back-and-forth before Baruch called a timeout after getting behind 18-17. Following the timeout MU added another two points to the board before BC could answer. The Bearcats committed several more errors and the Saints prevailed on top, 25-21
As a team the Saints notched 51 kills and kept the Bearcats to just 39. Wiles paced the Saints on the offensive end, registering a game-high 13 kills, while Pawlicki posted a game-high 44 assists. On the defensive end sophomore Alex Treser scooped up seven digs.
Marymount vs. Hunter
The men got off to a slow start in set one against Hunter, falling behind 3-1 before battling back to take their first lead at 5-4. Both squads continued trading points with neither team able to pull ahead by more than three points at a time. Marymount was forced to take a timeout after trailing 22-19, and were unable to answer the Hawks coming out of the timeout. MU went on to fall in set one, 25-23.
The Saints regained their momentum in the second set, this time taking a 3-1 lead of their own to start the set. The set remained tight until the Saints exploded towards the end, piecing together small runs. Junior TJ Wiechecki finished off set two with a kill, 25-21, and tied the match at one set apiece.
Wiechecki and Wiles added three straight kills in addition to an ace from junior Erich Bratke to jump ahead 4-0 to start set three. Marymount continued to extend their lead, seeing the biggest lead at 21-14. Wiles put the ball away for the final point of the set, 25-17, giving Marymount a 2-1 advantage in the match.
Both teams opened the fourth set trading points, keeping each other within striking distance. The momentum shifted in favor of the blue and white midway through the set when the Hawks committed several errors, giving the Saints a 12-9 lead. Marymount never looked back, and went on to win the set 25-20, following a kill from Choate.
Wiechecki paced the Saints of offense and defense after registering a game-high 18 kills and 15 digs. Bratke commanded the offense, notching a game-high 47 assists.
The men will open at home in the Verizon Sports Arena, on Friday, January 27. The Saints will host Marian (Wis.) University at 4 p.m., followed by Elmira College at approximately 8 p.m.