Marian University men’s volleyball (7-2, 6-2 NACC) was defeated in five sets by Rockford with set scores of 25-19, 10-25, 17-25, 27-25, and 15-13.
After a back-and-forth start to the match, a 5-1 run for Rockford proved to be the difference. The Regents took a five point lead with their spurt and behind a .294 hitting percentage took the opening set 25-19. Marian rebounded in a big way in the second set hitting .688 with 12 kills to only one error. The Sabres opened the set with a 19-6 lead and scored the final five points of the set to even the sets at 25-10.
Using that momentum, Marian was able to jump out to an early 10-4 lead in the third set. The Regents would trail just 20-15 late in the set but Marian was able to use a 5-2 run to close out the set and take a 2-1 lead. Neither team led by more than three points in the fourth set as it went wire to wire. The Regents would lead late 23-20 but Marian was able to score four unanswered points to go up 24-23. The Regents would fight off a pair of match-point opportunities, however, and force a fifth set.
The fifth set was no different than the fourth as the two sides went point-for-point with neither team leading by more than two. The Sabres would hold an 11-9 lead but Rockford would use a 5-2 spurt to complete their comeback victory.
The Sabres hit .366 in the match behind a match-high 22 kills from freshman Derek Wills as well as four service aces. Wills also had 11 digs to complete his second double-double in three matches. Sophomore Zach Zelenik posted a match-high 15 digs to go with 55 assists as he also posted a double-double.
Marian hits the road to take on Illinois Tech Tuesday, March 23 for a 7 p.m. first serve.