CINCINNATI, Ohio – The Mount St. Joseph University Lions welcomed the Comets of Olivet College and the Bulldogs of Adrian College in a Midwest Collegiate Volleyball League weekend. The Lions were able to come out victorious in both matches over the weekend, defeating Olivet three sets to one and Adrian three sets to two.
In the first set against Olivet the Lions took an early lead but the Comets would fight to keep the score close. Olivet was able to go on a run midway through the set to tie the score at 18. After a Mount timeout, the Lions were able to win seven out of the next eight points to take a 25-19 set one victory. The Lions continued their strong play into the early points of the second set and took a 6-1 lead. Olivet managed to close the gap but another Lions run from Zack Storc (Columbus, Ohio / Bishop Watterson) kept them afloat. The Lions closed out the second set 25-18 on a kill from Josh Kabel (Centerville, Ohio / Alter). Olivet cleaned up their play in the third set and kept the score close in the early points. Kabel gave the Lions some breathing room after going on a seven point service run but the Comets didn't give up. Down 14-21, Olivet managed to come back and win the set 27-25 in extra points. The fourth set was a battle, with neither team able to take a solid lead. The Lions earned to back to back kills in the final points from Jason Hascher (Miamisburg, Ohio / Alter) to defeat the Comets of Olivet 25-21 and the match 3-1.
In the Lions second match of the weekend they quickly took Adrian by storm. A four point service run from Jack Spohn (Columbus, Ohio / Olentangy) would give the Lions an early lead. The Bulldogs continued to fight but another five point service run from Storc would give the Lions an upper hand. The Lions closed out the first set with a final score of 25-21. The second set was a close one and neither team was able to take a significant lead. After multiple back and forth points the match was tied at 23. The Bulldogs were able to take the second set 25-23 after back to back Mount errors. The Lions struggles continued in the third set and Adrian was able to take an early lead. The Lions couldn't quite find their offense and dropped the second set 25-20. The Lions didn't give up in the fourth set and managed to keep the set close. Each time the Lions seemed to pull away the Bulldogs would go on a run of their own. Spohn was able to close out the fourth set for the Lions with a kill and an ace, with a final of 25-23. Seniors Ben Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio / Roger Bacon) and Darrell Swanson (Las Vegas, Nev. / Arbor View) came alive in the fifth set and brought the energy for the Lions. The fifth set was close all the way until the 8-8 mark when the Lions started their run. The Mount would win seven of the next ten points to take the set 15-11 and the match 3-2.
Hascher was the leading force on offense, finishing with 30 kills, 8 blocks, and 12 digs. Storc, Swanson, and Nick Melbardis (Indianapolis, Ind. / Cathedral) all finished with 20 digs, respectively.
The Lions (7-15, 3-2) will be back in action this weekend with two away matches. The first game will be this Friday, March 29th at Greenville University starting at 7:00Pm. Their second match will be held at Fontbonne University on Saturday, March 30th at 2:00PM. Continue to follow MSJSports.com for updates on the Lions 2019 season!