Marian University men’s volleyball (7-0, 6-0 NACC) needed extras twice but defeated Concordia Chicago in four sets with set scores of 27-25, 25-18, 18-25, and 26-24.
The Sabres jumped out to an early 7-3 lead to open the match and brought that lead out to 14-8. After Marian took a 22-17 lead the Cougars were able to rally and went on a 6-1 spurt to tie the game at 23-23. Marian was turned down on a pair of set-point opportunities, but the third time proved to be the charm as junior Jacob Jurney recorded a kill for the 27-25 win.
After an 8-8 start to the second set, Marian went on an 8-3 run to go-ahead 16-11 and this advantage proved to be the difference the remainder of the set. The Sabres were able to close out the second with a 6-3 run and it capped off a set that saw the Marian offense record 17 kills and hit .342.
The third set was tight at the beginning with neither team leading by more than three points. The Cougars would find themselves ahead 20-18 and scored five unanswered to close out the set and force a fourth. Using their momentum from the third, CUC was able to take an early 6-3 lead in the fourth. Marian responded, however, scoring six unanswered to go up 9-6. The Cougars slowly chipped away at this deficit and eventually trailed Marian 18-17. Then CUC scored five of the next six points to go ahead 22-19, but Marian was once again able to fight back. The Sabres rallied for three straight points and eventually held off a set-point opportunity for the Cougars. This proved to be the difference as the Sabres immediately ended the match taking advantage of a pair of attack errors.
Marian finished the match hitting .296 with only 15 hitting errors. Freshman Derek Wills posted his first double-double as a Sabre recording a team-high 18 kills with 11 digs. Jurney added 17 kills and hit .349 in the win to go with a pair of aces, while senior Isaiahs Mena had 11 kills. Junior Carzell Combs paced the back row with a match-high 14 digs, and junior Zach Zelenik assisted 51 of the 57 Sabre kills.
Marian travels to Dominican Tuesday, March 16 for a 7 p.m. first serve in NACC action.