McKendree bested No. 18 Saint Francis at home behind a double-double by Nolan Rueter, while No. 4 Loyola swept No. 6 Pepperdine and No. 8 Lewis moved past No. 15 Penn State in four sets in Honolulu. No. 13 Grand Canyon recorded its third straight sweep, topping Mount Olive to round out the early action on Saturday.
McKendree def. #18 Saint Francis 3-1 (22-25, 25-23, 27-25, 27-25)
- McKendree moves to 7-10; Saint Francis falls to 8-13
- Lebanon, Illinois
- Box Score
- Saint Francis Recap; McKendree Recap
Key Stats: In a match with three deuce sets, the stats were fairly even as well, but, in the end, McKendree was able to snap a four-match skid. McKendree boasted a slight edges in kills (55-53), hitting percentage (.236 to .223) and aces (6-5). Saint Francis led 11-10 in blocks. McKendree won the final set, despite trailing .265 to .182 in efficiency.
Stat Leaders: Senior outside Nolan Rueter notched a match-high 19 kils, 11 digs and two aces, while hitting at a team-best .324 clip. Senior outside Jared Wilcox chipped in 16 kills and four blocks. Freshman outside Patrick Ross followed with eight putaways and two aces. Redshirt freshman middle Wyatt Dimke was the team’s top blocker with seven stuffs.
Senior outside Brandon Buck (18), redshirt senior outside Stephen Braswell (16) and junior outside Evan Feltz (11) registered double-digit efforts for SFU. Braswell hit at a team-high .365 clip and added eight digs, while Buck hit at a .333 clip with a team-high two aces. Junior middle Cole Carver put up a team-best six blocks, while senior middle Keith Kegerreis and redshirt sophomore setter Joseph Koszelak added four stuffs apiece.
It Was Over When: Saint Francis jumped ahead 12-7 midway through Set 4 with help from three kills apiece from Buck and Braswell. McKendree countered with five straight points, including a Ross ace and a solo block by Dimke, to tie it up at 12. The Red Flash scored six of the next nine, including two stuffs by Koszelak and Kegerreis to go up 18-15. Three Wilcox putaways knotted the score at 21. Trailing 23-21, the Bearcats scored three straight, with a kill and block by Rueter to earn their first match-point try at 24-23. Another Rueter putaway gave McKendree another shot at 25-24. In the end, a Ross kill and Brendan Schmidt ace gave the Bearcats the come-from-behind 27-25 win and the match.
#4 Loyola Chicago def. #6 Pepperdine 3-0 (25-21, 26-24, 25-20)
- Loyola moves to 16-4; Pepperdine falls to 10-6
- Malibu, California
- Box Score
- Loyola Recap / Pepperdine Recap
Key Stats: Loyola outhit Pepperdine .355 to .228 in a road sweep on Saturday to rebound from Thursday’s loss to Concordia-Irvine. The Ramblers also bested the Waves in kills (40-35) and aces (6-5), but Pepperdine won the blocks 5-4. Loyola hit at a match-high .423 clip in the final stanza.
Stat Leaders: Junior outside Collin Mahan and senior outside Ryan Jamison turned in 11 and 10 kills respectively to lead the Ramblers. Jamison rounded out a double-double with a match-high 11 digs and two aces. Senior middle Jeff Jendryk followed with eight kills on a perfect 1.000 hitting effort (8-0-8) and a team-best two blocks. Junior middle Paul Narup added six kills and two blocks with a .750 hitting effort, while senior opposite Ricky Gevis also notched two stuffs.
Senior outside Alex Harthaller notched a match-high 12 kills, while hitting .435 and adding three blocks to pace Pepperdine. Senior outside Colby Harriman and redshirt junior outside David Wieczorek tallied seven kills apiece, while junior outside Michael Wexter added five putaways on a team-high .444 hitting effort. Junior middle Max Chamberlain put up a team-leading four blocks, while Harriman added a team-high six digs.
It Was Over When: Loyola broke open Set 3 with a 7-3 midset run, turning a 12-11 advantage into a 19-14 edge. Four different players tallied kills in the stretch, while Pepperdine chipped in two service errors. The Waves countered with four of the next five points, including a Wieczorek ace and kills by Harriman and Harthaller to narrow the gap to two at 20-18. Up 21-19, Loyola put together a final 4-1 run. Two Mahan putaways and one from Jendryk set up the final point, which came on a Pepperdine hitting error.
#8 Lewis def. #15 Penn State 3-1 (25-17-, 22-25, 25-22, 25-22)
- Lewis moves to 14-7; PSU falls to 10-7
- Honolulu, Hawaii
- Box Score
- PSU Recap / Lewis Recap
Key Stats: Lewis racked up 11 blocks and seven aces and hit at a .351 clip to overcome a 17-kill deficit in the match and grab its first victory in three tries in Honolulu. The Flyers bested the Nittany Lions 11-4 in stuffs, 7-6 in aces and .351 to .282 in efficiency. For its part, Penn State racked up 56 kills to 39 for Lewis. Twenty five miscues plagued PSU.
Stat Leaders: Redshirt sophomore outside Ryan Coenen (13) and redshirt junior outside Julian Moses (12) guided Lewis to victory offensively with double-digit efforts. Coenen also put up four blocks and served up two aces, while Moses turned in three perfect serves. Redshirt freshman middle TJ Murray added six kills on a .667 hitting effort (6-0-9), while redshirt freshman middle Tyler Mitchem added four kills and a match-high six blocks.
Four Nittany Lions posted double-digit kill tallies, led by Redshirt senior outside Aidan Albrecht‘s 19. Redshirt freshman opposite Kyle Mackiewicz (15), redshirt junior outside Matthew McLaren (12) and redshirt sophmore middle Jason Donorovich (10) followed. Donorovich hit at a match-high .833 clip (10-0-12), while Albrecht and redshirt senior opposite Jalen Penrose managed two blocks apiece.
It Was Over When: In a fourth set that featured 12 ties, the match came down to the wire, with Lewis pulling it out with a final 4-0 run. The Flyers led by as many as three in the early stages, last at 13-10, with help from eight PSU miscues. The Nittany Lions leveled the score at 14 and even took a 17-16 lead as Albrecht downed two kills. Penn State owned a 22-21 advantage after kills from Mackiewicz and McLaren, but could not hold on. Two errors, a block by Murray and Jaconb Kerschner and a final putdown by Coenen gave the Flyers the 25-22 win and the match.
#13 Grand Canyon def. Mount Olive 3-0 (25-23, 26-24, 25-21)
- Grand Canyon moves to 15-6; Mount Olive falls to 11-9
- Phoenix, Arizona
- Box Score
- Mount Olive Recap / Grand Canyon Recap
Key Stats: GCU posted 16 more kills and three more aces in the sweep to overcome deficits in hitting percentage and blocks. Mount Olive outhit the Lopes .318 to .288 and outblocked them 13 to 5.5. Grand Canyon made up the difference with a 51-35 lead in kills and 6-3 advantage in aces. The Lopes edged the Trojans 26-24 in Set 2 despite being outhit .433 to .333.
Stat Leaders: Senior outside Cody Williams tallied 17 kills, eight digs, three blocks and two aces, while hitting at a team-best .444 clip to lead the Lopes. Redshirt senior outside Cullen Mosher chipped in 11 putaways and two aces. Four other players added five or more kills: sophomore middle Caleb Blazer (6), senior outside Shalev Saada (6), redshirt senior middle Ashton King (5) and junior outside Will Schwob (5). King turned in three blocks, while Saada added two aces.
Senior opposites Bret Rutledge and Robert Poole led the way for UMO with 12 and 11 kills respectively. Poole hit at a team-best .500 clip and added four blocks and two aces. Freshman middle Luke Visgitis added seven blocs, while senior setter Jeff Yasalonis and freshman middle Jerrell Rogers put up four apiece.
It Was Over When: GCU snapped a 6-all tie with a 9-4 run, including three Williams kills and two each by Mosher and Saada. Mount Olive charged back with six of the next nine, including an ace by Yasalonis and two blocks, narrowing the gap to two at 18-16. The teams split the next 10 points leading to a 23-21 score, before Williams and Saada closed the door with putaways for the final two points of the 25-21 win.