ELMIRA & ROCHESTER, New York – The Mount St. Joseph University Lions traveled to New York this weekend to take a break from conference play and participate in a two day tri-match. In the first day of play the Lions faced the Elmira College Soaring Eagles and came up short in a five set match. The Lions struggled in their second day of action and dropped two matches against Vassar College and Nazareth College to finish the weekend 0-3.
In the Lions match against Elmira College, they were able to take the first set after a close set. The Lions rallied in the final points and took the set 25-22. The Soaring Eagles picked up their play in the second set and after being down they were able to go on back to back runs to take the lead. The Lions couldn't overcome the deficit and dropped the second set 25-19. Elmira continued their strong play into the early points of the second set but the Lions would slowly chip away at the lead. Down 16-19, the Lions managed to cut the lead to one but a kill from Elmira put the set away with a score of 25-23. The Lions found their way in the fourth and a seven point service run from Rey Sanchez (Arvada, CO / Ralston Valley High School) gave the Lions an early lead. Elmira kept themselves in the match but another service run by Sanchez put the match out of reach, giving the Lions a 25-19 set four victory. Both teams battled in the early points of the fifth set but a service run from Elmira gave them an advantage over the Lions. The Lions dropped the fifth set 15-7 and the match 3-2.
In the second day of action the Lions matched up against Vassar College for their first match of the day. The first set was close the whole time, neither team was able to go on a significant run. The Lions were able to take the lead on a three point service run from Darrell Swanson (Las Vegas, NV / Arbor View) but Vassar countered back with a run of their own. The set went into extra points and Vassar was able to secure back to back points to take the first set 28-26. The Lions started the second set off slow which led to an eight point service run from Vassar to take a big lead. The deficit would be too much and the Lions dropped the second set 25-16. The Lions picked up their play in the third set and kept themselves in the match. The Mount was able to take back the lead after a four point service run from Jason Hascher (Miamisburg, OH / Alter). Vassar took the lead back after going in a six point service run which would eventually lead to a 25-22 and 3-0 victory.
The Lions struggles continued in their second match of the day against Nazareth College. The Lions played strong in the early points of the set but allowed Nazareth to go on an eight point service run that put the set out of reach. The Mount would drop the first set 25-18. The Lions held a commanding lead for most of the second set but a late run by Nazareth put them right back in the match. Back to back errors from the Lions would give Nazareth the second set 26-24. Nazareth took a quick 9-1 lead to start the third set and left the Lions stunned. The Mount would slowly chip away at the lead but the deficit would prove to be too much as the Lions dropped the final set 25-21 and the match 3-0.
Hascher was the leading force on offense for the Lions, earning 30 kills and 17 digs. Nick Melbardis (Indianapolis, IN / Cathedral) cleaned up the back row with 30 digs over the three game weekend.
The Lions will continue conference play this weekend with a single home match against Trine University this Saturday, March 16th at 1:00PM. Continue to check MSJSports.com for more updates on the Lions 2019 season!