DUBUQUE, Iowa – Marian University men’s volleyball (9-1, 1-0 NACC) suffered their first loss in straight sets against Loras but bounced back to defeat Adrian in four sets.
The Sabres got out to a slow start against the Duhawks as Loras opened the first match of the day with a 12-4 lead. Marian was able to cut their deficit down to two but were unable to rally any closer dropping the first set 25-21. The Sabres showed life to open the second set taking an 11-6 lead early. Loras then used an 11-5 spurt, however, to take the lead at 17-16. The two squads were tied at 22-22 only to have a pair of Duhawk kills give Loras a 25-23 win. An 11-11 draw opened the third set but Loras wouldn’t let the Sabres back in the match closing the victory out with a 14-7 run.
Sophomore Derek Wills posted 13 kills to lead the Marian offense, while senior Zach Zelenik had a team-high six digs.
Looking to bounce back quickly, Marian jumped out in front of Adrian 10-4 to open the second match of the day. This proved to be the difference as Marian was able to hold on late to win the opening set 25-23. Adrian was able to respond, however, opening the second set with a 15-10 advantage to which the Sabres were unable to come back falling 25-21. After the Bulldogs jumped ahead 10-3 to open the third, Marian finally turned a corner using a 15-5 spurt to go up 18-15. Adrian scored three straight to tie the set back at 18-18 but Marian was able to pull ahead quickly and take the set 25-22. The fourth set saw the same 25-22 Marian win as a small 7-2 run gave the Sabres enough space in a set that was heavy with side outs.
Wills recorded another 12 kills to go with eight digs and three total blocks, while junior Cam Muller added 11 kills. Sophomore Aaron Velasco nearly had a double-double recording 11 digs and nine kills.
Marian closes out the Loras Tournament tomorrow, Sunday, February 6, taking on Fontbonne at 10 a.m. and Augustana (Ill.) for a 3 p.m. first serve.