Marian University men’s volleyball (8-4, 7-4 NACC) fell to Aurora to close out the regular season with set scores of 20-25, 25-22, 25-21, and 25-16.
The Sabres jumped out fast to open the match opening with a 9-4 lead on the Spartans. Marian was able to build their lead to as large as eight on several occasions and used a pair of Spartan service errors to close out the set. Marian was able to take advantage of 10 attack errors from Aurora in the set. The Sabres opened the second set with a 3-1 lead but the Spartans would then go on a 15-6 run that gave them a 16-9 advantage. The Sabres were able to rally with a quick 9-3 spurt that cut the Marian deficit down to one at 19-18. Aurora was able to bounce back, however, and evened the set recording four kills and a pair of Marian service errors to even the sets.
Marian was able to take the early lead in the third jumping out to an 11-6 advantage. Aurora responded, however, tying the match at 12-12. After a quick 3-0 run from the Sabres, Aurora then went on a 6-1 run to take an 18-16 lead. The seesaw battle continued as Marian tied the match at 18-18, but the Spartans closed out the set scoring seven of the final 10 points. The fourth set was all Aurora as the Spartans scored 10 of the first 13 points and didn’t allow the Sabres to force a fifth set.
Freshman Derek Wills paced the offense recording a match-high 16 kills, while junior Zach Zelenik had 35 assists. Defensively, freshman Aaron Velasco led the back row with 11 digs, while junior Liam Skinner had three total blocks with two being of the solo variety.
Marian has a rematch at Aurora to open the NACC tournament Tuesday, April 6 for a 7 p.m. first serve.