Marian University men’s volleyball (3-0, 2-0 NACC) earned a hard-fought sweep of Concordia Wisconsin with set finals of 25-23, 28-26, and 25-16.
Marian opened the match with a 13-11 lead and went on a 6-1 run to go ahead 19-12 and force a CUW timeout. The Sabres maintained their lead but the Falcons were able to trim their deficit down to just one on a pair of occasions. Marian would put away their first set-point opportunity with a kill from freshman Derek Wills to take the first set 25-23. Four different Sabres had multiple blocks, while the Sabre defense had five blocks.
The second set started in a similar fashion with the Sabres taking a 12-11 lead before CUW scored five unanswered points to go up 16-12. Trailing 19-16, the Sabres were able to use a quick 5-1 spurt to retake the lead at 21-20. After trading points back-and-forth, Marian was able to get back-to-back kills from Wills and a service ace from junior Zach Zelenik to earn the 28-26 comeback win. Wills finished with seven kills in the set off a .462 hitting percentage to pace the offense.
Needing a win, the Falcons jumped out to an early 4-1 lead but the Sabres then went on a 13-2 run to open a commanding 14-6 lead. The Sabres were able to hold this lead the remainder of the set and cruised to earn the sweep. The Marian defense was especially dominant in the final set recording six blocks with junior Liam Skinner having a hand in all of them.
Wills finished with a team-best 11 kills, while sophomore Cam Muller added 10 kills while hitting .692 for the match. Zelenik led the Marian defense with eight digs and assisted on 27 kills. The Sabre net presence dominated recording 15 blocks in the win. Skinner had three solo blocks and assisted another eight to lead the Marian front row.
Marian hits the road traveling to Edgewood for a 7 p.m. first serve Thursday, Feb. 25 in NACC action.