Saturday afternoon had three matches on tap. #14 Pepperdine invoked the “Malibu Roofing Company” to block #19 Concordia into submission, Queens earned a four-set victory over Erskine, and Emmanuel had to come back from being down two sets to one to defeat Belmont Abbey in five.
#14 Pepperdine def. #19 Concordia-Irvine, 3-1 (25-17, 25-23, 24-26, 25-21)
- Pepperdine improved to 4-4, 1-1 MPSF; CUI dropped to 4-5, 0-2 MPSF
- Irvine, California
- Box score
- Pepperdine recap/CUI recap
Key Stats: The Waves have aptly named themselves the “Malibu Roofing Company” for their affinity to outblock their opponents. Saturday afternoon was no different, notching a whopping 18 blocks in only four sets of action, limiting CUI to hitting only .148 for the match.
Stat Leaders: David Wieczorek earned his third career double-double in the win with a match-high 21 kills and 10 digs. Libero Noah Dyer dug 17 balls—good for second all-time at Pepperdine in a four-set match. Max Chamberlain finished with a career-high 7 blocks to lead the net defense for the Waves. Setter Robert Mullahey ran the offense with 45 assists.
For CUI, Darcy Taig tied his career-high with 11 kills, hitting .409 on the afternoon. Taig also added 6 digs and 3 blocks. Raymond Barsemian also added 11 kills and 3 blocks. Hunter Howell led Concordia’s net defense with 7 blocks. Libero Jacob Weiser had a season-high in digs with 15. It was his sixth match this season earning double-digit digs. Setter Chandler Gibb finished with 36 assists.
It Was Over When: CUI got within one at 15-16 of the fourth set on a Pepperdine service error. A mini-run of three points was created by two Alex Harthaller kills and a triple block from Harthaller, Mullahey and Michael Wexter. Concordia were not within three points for the remainder of the match.
Queens (NC) def. Erskine, 3-1 (25-20, 17-25, 25-23, 25-22)
- Queens moves to 3-8; Erskine drops to 0-9
- Due West, South Carolina
- Box score
- Queens recap/Erskine recap
Key Stats: Erskine won every major team statistical category, but untimely and unforced errors, and Queens’ ability to control their own errors, proved to be the difference. Queens only committed 7 unforced hitting errors in 4 sets, while Erskine was responsible for 19 unforced hitting errors to go with their 15 service errors.
Stat Leaders: Marco Vecellio led all attackers with 15 kills, hitting .448 on the afternoon. He also earned a double-double with 13 digs. No other Royal had more than 8 kills. Aleksandar Perisic led the net defense with 6 blocks. Setter Jack Mitchner ran the offense with 42 assists to go along with his 5 blocks and 3 digs. Libero Conner Nagaki matched Tristan Santoyo with a team-high 14 digs.
For Erskine, Daniel Hermida led the way with 13 kills and 10 digs. Absalon Williams finished with 12 kills with only one attack error, hitting .500 in the match. Williams also finished with a rare type of double-double; his net defense garnered 10 blocks. Setter Griffin Spence nearly had the even rarer triple-double; he finished with 36 assists, 11 digs and 7 blocks for the Flying Fleet.
It Was Over When: With Queens hanging on to a 6-5 lead in the fourth, the Royals went on a 7-0 run to all but seal the deal against the Flying Fleet. Within the run, Queens came up with 5 kills and an ace to go along with 2 unforced errors from Erskine. Even with a five point run of their own, the Flying Fleet had too much ground to make up, unltimately losing the set and match on a kill from Queens setter Jack Mitchner.
Emmanuel def. Belmont Abbey, 3-2 (25-21, 20-25, 23-25, 25-21, 15-7)
- Emmanuel moves to 3-7, 2-3 Conference Carolinas; Belmont Abbey drops to 4-6, 2-2 Conference Carolinas
- Franklin Springs, Georgia
- Box score
- Emmanuel recap/Belmont Abbey recap
Key Stats: Although Emmanuel had 26 service errors and were aced 11 times in the match, it was their net play that earned the victory. Emmanuel outkilled (52-36) the Abbey, while hitting .258 to BAC’s .034 on the afternoon. Emmanuel also outblocked the visitors, 11.5-6.
Stat Leaders: Don Thompson led the way for the Lions with 13 errorless kills on .565 hitting with 3 blocks. He was joined in double-digits by Manuel Melenciano with 12 kills and Ackeem West with 10. Melenciano also had an impressive stat line of 10 digs, a team-high of 4 aces and 2 blocks. West also had a match-high 7 blocks. Setter Demitrius Maloney finished with 46 assists and 7 digs. Libero Caleb Bonaventure had a team-high 12 digs.
For Belmont Abbey, Liam Maxwell led all attackers with 15 kills. Maxwell also added 6 digs and a match-high 5 aces. No other Crusader had a positive hitting percentage or had more than 6 kills. Setter Bryce Sullivan finished with 30 assists. Libero Rob Valentine had a match-high 18 digs.
It Was Over When: Emmanuel stuck to their efficient ways by hitting .304 in the deciding set with 10 kills. Belmont Abbey hit -.125 with only 1 kill in the fifth.
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