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No. 11 Saints sweep No. 15 Juniata for redemption of early-season loss

No. 11 Saints sweep No. 15 Juniata for redemption of early-season loss

ARLINGTON, Va.— The No. 11 Marymount (Va.) University men's volleyball squad improved to 7-1 in Continental Volleyball Conference play after defeating Juniata College in a convincing fashion on Friday night. The Saints swept the Soaring Eagles in three sets, 3-0 (25-19, 25-15, 25-22).

The Saints maintained a small lead early on in set one, before piecing together a 2-0 run mid-set to push ahead 16-13. Junior Carson Caudell notched a kill followed by an ace to spark a momentum kick for the blue and white. Three-straight errors committed by the Eagles forced JC to take a timeout, and gave the Saints a 19-14 advantage. Senior Graham Clark posted the final kill of the game, allowing the Saints to prevail, 25-19. 

Back-to-back kills from sophomore Eric Wiles and junior TJ Wiechecki, followed by an Eagles error, gave Marymount an early 4-1 lead to start off the second set. JC rallied its way back into the matchup, and pulled ahead, 11-10. MU quickly answered with a 3-0 run ignited by a kill from Wiechecki. Wiles notched two crucial service aces to give the Saints a 15-12 advantage, and forced an Eagles timeout. The blue and white finished out the set on a 6-0 run with three Saints contributing in the kill column, while Caudell notched a service ace and the Saints finished it off, 25-15.

Set three proved to be a tougher battle. Both squads traded points forcing several ties and lead changes. Clark put the ball down with force mid-set, sparking a 3-0 run for the Saints, and taking a 16-14 lead. The Eagles remained close tying the game two more times before back-to-back kills from senior Tomasz Ksiazkiewicz and Wiles gave the Saints the lead back, 21-20. MU held onto the lead, closing the set out on top, 25-22, to solidify the sweep. 

Wiechecki paced the Saints, notching a game-high 13 kills on the offensive end. Junior Erich Bratke bolstered a game-high 34 assists, while junior libero, Connor Choate, tallied a game-high 8 digs on the defensive end. As a team, the Saints garnered seven service aces throughout the match.

The Saints return to the Verizon Sports Arena for another CVC matchup on Saturday, March 18 against Thiel College. First serve is set for 5:30 p.m.