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No. 9 Saints go to extra points in set five, come up short to No. 12 Lasers

No. 9 Saints go to extra points in set five, come up short to No. 12 Lasers

NEWTON, Mass.— The No. 9 Marymount (Va.) University men's volleyball squad squared off against No. 12 Lasell College on Friday night. The Saints pushed the Lasers to the brink in set five before falling short, 3-2 (17-25, 19-25, 25-23, 25-20, 24-26).

The Saints battled point-for-point with the Lasers early on, before falling behind 12-6. MU posted a 3-0 run to get back within one of LC at 16-15. The blue and white were unable to overcome the deficit and dropped set one, 25-17.

Marymount fell behind early on, but five different Saints connected at the net to notch a kill for the blue and white. The well-spread offense wasn't enough to outlast the Lasers, and the Saints fell short in set two, 25-19.

The momentum shifted in favor of the Saints to kick off set three. Back-to-back kills from sophomore Eric Wiles and senior Tomasz Ksiazkiewicz pushed the Saints lead to two, 7-5. Moments later, junior TJ Wiechecki bolstered two-straight kills to maintain the two-point advantage, 9-7. Wiechecki connected with freshman Joseph Zanelotti for the final point of the set, as the Saints won 25-23.

The blue and white continued to swing on the offensive end, registering a 7-0 run to garner an 11-6 lead, forcing the Lasers to burn a timeout. Wiechecki led the run with two kills and juniors Graham Clark and Carson Caudell also notched a kill throughout the run. The Saints continued to dominate and Ksiazkiewicz pounded the ball on the final point of the set to put the Saints on top, 25-20.

In set five, the Saints maintained control on the offensive end, registering an 11-7 lead to force a Laser timeout. Lasell rallied back into the set and tied the set at 15 all, forcing extra points. The momentum shifted back-and-forth between the squads, producing six lead changes in the final 12 points. Clark and Zanelotti put up a wall at the net to give the blue and white a 24-23 advantage. The Lasers scored two-straight points and returned the favor at the net for the final point of the match, as the Saints fell short 26-24. 

On the offensive end, Wiechecki bolstered a career- and game-high 30 kills, while maintaining an impressive .523 hitting percentage. Ksiazkiewicz and Clark posted 13 and 11 kills, respectively. Zanelotti stepped up in the setter position, garnering a career-high 58 assists. On the defensive end, junior Connor Choate registered a game-high 13 digs.

The men will host Juniata College in a Continental Volleyball Conference matchup at home on Friday, March 17. First serve is set for 7 p.m.