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Balanced effort leads Saints past Messiah, 3-0, in season opener

Balanced effort leads Saints past Messiah, 3-0, in season opener

ARLINGTON, Va. – The No. 12 Marymount University men's volleyball team opened its season on Tuesday night with a 3-0 sweep, taking down Messiah College, 25-21, 25-17, 25-14, at the Converse Family Fieldhouse.

The Saints got going early, opening the match on a 10-4 run, with the help of two kills, each, from junior Sam Safley and senior Remington Shahan.

Marymount held the lead through the first set, but the Falcons were able to keep the score close, keeping the game within three points in the later moments.

Shahan and senior James Knight each added kills down the stretch, as the Saints held on for the 1-0 lead.

Messiah took the initial lead in the second set, 6-3, but Shahan would put down a kill to spark a 4-0 run to grab the lead for the Saints. He also added a service ace, while sophomore Evan Flesher tallied two blocks, included one assisted by Safley.

Flesher finished the game with five total blocks to lead the team in the match.

The Falcons tied the score at 7-7, but another 4-0 spurt would grab the lead for good for the Saints, as Safley hit two-straight service aces.

Messiah again kept the frame close, but Marymount found its stride in an 8-2 stint to close the set. Safley and Flesher each put down kills and combined for another block to help grab the 2-0 lead.

Safley and freshman Miles Olson each tallied kills to keep the momentum going in the start of the third set, as the Saints opened on a 16-4 run. Safley and Olson each tallied three kills in the final frame, as the Saints cruised to victory.

Safley and Shahan led the way with eight kills, each, in the match, while senior Eric Wiles notched 6. Junior Joseph Zanelotti finished with 26 assists and eight digs, both for team high's.

Marymount will hit the road for its next match in the first day of the Jim Coleman Invitational at Wittenburg University; the Saints will square off with No. 9 University of California, Santa Cruz on Friday, January 18. The match is set for 8 p.m.