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No. 12 Saints take both in home opening tri-match

No. 12 Saints take both in home opening tri-match

ARLINGTON, Va. — The No. 12 Marymount (Va.) University men's volleyball team hosted a tri-match on Friday evening against Marian (Wis.) University and Elmira College. The Saints defeated Marian in four sets, 3-1 (25-21, 25-23, 21-25, 27-25) before cruising past Elmira in straight sets, 3-0 (25-19, 25-21, 25-15).

Marymount vs. Marian

The Saints came out swinging early in the matchup to take a quick lead in set one. Marian battled its way back into the set to tie it up and led momentarily, before the Saints took control once again at 12-11. Marymount commanded the rest of the set before prevailing, 25-21, following a kill from sophomore James Knight.

Marymount continued the momentum into set two, jumping ahead 15-10 by mid set. The Sabres rallied back to tie set two at 18 all, but were unable to overcome the Saint offense, as Marymount took set two, 25-23.

In set three, both squads traded points until the blue and white fell behind mid set to trail the Sabres, 18-11. The Saints used a timeout, causing a service error by Marian. Marymount made a last-ditch effort and cut the deficit to three before falling short, 25-21. 

The blue and white dominated most of set four before Marian tied the set, 18-18. It was an intense battle until the end of the set and match, forcing set four into extra points. Junior Jordan Pawlicki connected with junior Ben Steranka for a kill and the Sabres committed an error to give Marymount the victory in set four, 27-25.

Freshman Shane Limbaugh paced the Saints on the offensive end, registering a game-high 12 kills and Steranka and sophomore Alex Treser added 10 apiece. Pawlicki directed the offense, notching a game-high 43 assists. On the defensive end, Pawlicki also scooped up 11 digs to pace the Saints.

Marymount vs. Elmira

The momentum stayed in favor of the Saints as they entered match two. MU pulled ahead early and maintained its advantage through the remainder of the set. Senior Tomasz Ksiazkiewicz put the ball away for the final point of the set to lead the Saints over the Soaring Eagles, 25-19.

In set two, both squads battled before the Saints pulled away following a kill and ace from junior TJ Wiechecki, 15-13. The Saints offense remained strong through the final point, prevailing on top, 25-21.

Marymount dominated set three, taking an early 10-5 lead, forcing Elmira to use its first timeout. The timeout proved ineffective as the Saints continued to lead by as much as 10, before junior Erich Bratke fed freshman James Safley for the final kill of the set to put Marymount on top, 25-15.

Safley pieced together an impressive performance to pace the Saints on offense, bolstering a game-high 11 kills while hitting .773. Bratke registered a game-high 28 assists, while junior Connor Choate notched five digs to pace the Saints on the defensive end. 

The men will be back in action on Saturday, January 28 to host Mount St. Joseph University. First serve is set for 12 p.m., in the Verizon Sports Arena.