Marian men’s volleyball opens homestand defeating Illinois Tech

February 15, 2018

Marian University men’s volleyball (5-6, 0-2 NACC) opened a four-match homestand defeating Illinois Tech in four sets with scores of 25-20, 25-21, 24-26 and 25-20.

The Sabre offense hit well for the entire match recording a .268 hitting percentage for the match with a .371 hitting percentage in the first set and a .375 hitting percentage in the fourth set.

An 8-5 run in the opening set proved to be the difference as the Sabres were able to extend a 6-5 lead out to 14-10.  This slim four-point difference was all Marian needed in an opening set that went back-and-forth.  The second set saw the Sabres jump out to a 12-7 lead after an 8-2 MU run and only allowed multiple points to one Scarlet Hawk on two occasions the rest of the set.

The Scarlet Hawks were able to jump out early in the third set to force a fourth set where Marian was able to find their stride early in the set and cruised to the win.  In the best offensive set of the match for Marian, the Sabres used a 9-3 run after a 15-15 stalemate to take a sizeable 24-19 lead.  The Sabres and Scarlet Hawks then traded service errors to clinch the non-conference win for Marian.

A pair of Sabres had double-doubles in the match with senior Aaron Wendels recording 14 kills to go with 10 digs and junior Joey Dittman assisting on 44 kills with 11 digs.  Junior Jon Smallpage led the offense with 19 kills and a .326 hitting percentage, while fellow junior Ben Walter had an efficient night hitting .500 with eight kills.

Defensively, the Sabres had seven blocks with Smallpage and sophomore Jacob DeGroot each assisting on four blocks.  Junior Cullen Liberski led the back row with a match-high 21 digs.

Marian remains at home to host North Central (Ill.) at 4 p.m. and Aurora at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 16 from Sadoff Gym.