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Safley Leads No. 14 Saints to Season-Opening Sweep of Limestone

Safley Leads No. 14 Saints to Season-Opening Sweep of Limestone

ARLINGTON, Va. - Marymount men's volleyball sophomore Sam Safley totaled nine kills, seven digs and four service aces while posting a .533 hitting percentage as the 14th-ranked Saints opened the season with a 25-17, 25-22, 25-16 victory over Division II Limestone Saturday at Verizon Sports Arena.

The win was the 10th in the last 13 at home for the Saints (1-0) and the first for head coach Dan Liberto at Marymount after he totaled 51 wins in three seasons at SUNY Poly.

Senior TJ Wiechecki, the 2017 CVC Player of the Year and AVCA First Team All-American, had 11 kills, three digs and three block assists while junior Eric Wiles had seven kills and four digs. Senior Erich Bratke, an All-CVC Second Team selection a year ago, totaled 23 assists and five digs. Senior Connor Choate had 11 digs.

Limestone (0-2) opened the match by scoring the first four points before Marymount answered with four-straight to tie the set at 4-4. From there, the two teams would go back and forth with the fourth and final tie coming at 7-7 before the Saints used a 9-4 run, highlighted by two kills and two aces from Wiechecki, to take a 16-11 advantage.

Marymount increased its lead to as many as seven before three-straight errors by Limestone gave the hosts an eight-point win.

The second set also featured four ties and three lead changes, the last coming at 5-4 on a kill by Wiles. The Saints took a 10-6 lead on another kill by Wiles, but Limestone would pull within one at 13-12 after three Marymount service errors and two attack errors.

Led by two kills apiece from Wiles and Wiechecki and one from senior Ben Steranka, Marymount pushed its lead to seven, 21-15, before the Saints held off a late Limestone push for the victory. Wiles totaled five of his seven kills in the second as he and Safley combined for nine of the team's 14 kills while both had a .571 hitting percentage.

After Marymount took a 3-0 lead to start the third set, Limestone ran off seven consecutive points before the Saints had four-straight to tie it at 7-7. With the game tied for the fourth time at 14-14, Marymount took advantage of three-straight Limestone attack errors to take an 18-15 advantage. Holding a 20-16 lead, the Saints scored the last five points of the match to seal the sweep, four of which were on Limestone errors.

Limestone had 12 attack, three service and three reception errors in the third set.

Marymount returns to action on Wednesday with a trip to Springfield, Ohio to take on Wittenberg at 7 p.m.