Marian University men’s volleyball (2-0, 0-0 NACC) swept Wittenberg and Rockford in straight sets to open the 2022 season.
The Sabres opened with a dominating performance against Wittenberg defeating the Tigers 25-13 in the first set. The Sabre offense posted 11 kills to only one error for a .476 hitting percentage in the set. The second set was slightly closer but after leading 10-9 the Sabres went on a 9-3 run to easily cruise to a 25-18 victory. Neither team led by more than three points in the third set eventually leading to a 19-19 tie. Marian used a quick 4-1 spurt to take a 23-20 but were unable to convert on a pair of set-point opportunities. In extras, Marian was able to benefit from a Tiger service error and junior Cam Muller ended the match with a kill immediately after.
Sophomore Derek Wills paced the offense with 11 kills to go with a service ace and eight digs, while fellow sophomore Aaron Velasco led the back row with 10 digs. Freshman Keanu Ouranitsas-Hayes opened his Sabre career with nine kills on 11 attacks for an .818 hitting percentage to go with five total blocks.
Marian jumped all over Rockford to open the second match of the day taking the first two sets 25-17 and 25-16. Marian had some work to do opening the third set down 13-10. The Sabres were able to go on an 8-3 run to take an 18-16 advantage only to have the Regents cut the deficit down to one at 21-20. Marian then closed out the match immediately after, however, scoring four straight points.
Muller hit .474 to lead the Sabres and had a match-high 11 kills, while senior Zach Zelenik posted a double-double assisting on 25 kills with 12 digs. Ouranitsas-Hayes added another six total blocks to finish with 11 total blocks on the day.
Marian plays at the Adrian Tournament opening against Olivet Saturday, Jan. 22 for a 1:30 p.m. first serve.