Men's College Volleyball

Offensive problems keep QU winless in MIVA play

Lindenwood University's Sam Schindler attempts to block a spike by QU's Thane Fanfulik during QU's game against Lindenwood University at Pepsi Arena on Tuesday, Mar. 6, 2018. The ball was hit out of bounds from Schindler's block resulting in a Quincy University point. | H-W Photo/Jake Shane
Jake Shane 1|
By SHANE HULSEY
Sports Writer | 217-223-5100
sports@whig.com | @WhigSports
Posted: Mar. 7, 2018 12:40 am

QUINCY -- A tough stretch for the Quincy University men's volleyball team didn't come to an end against Lindenwood on Tuesday.

The Lions beat the Hawks 25-15, 25-22, 21-25, 25-12 to snap a six-game losing streak and pick up their second victory in Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association play, both against Quincy.

QU (9-12) has lost nine of its last 10 matches and is winless in eight MIVA matches. The Hawks' attack percentage in MIVA play is .217, tied for worst in the eight-team league, and first-year coach Gavin Mueller said his team must improve its offensive output over anything else.

"We need to find a way to produce some offense moving forward," he said. "Hitting .100, 0, negative ... that's not gonna win you ballgames. Our blocking is pretty good, and our defense right now is phenomenal, so we're not worried about our defensive effort. It's our turn to find a way to hit around their defense."

The Hawks had an attack percentage of .157, well below their season average of .228. The Lions (7-9, 2-6) hit at a .324 clip.

Lindenwood coach Joe Kosciw said offensive efficiency and execution have been huge emphases in practice.

"For the last few days of practice, we've really been focusing on playing error-free volleyball," he said. "We've been emphasizing making the right plays, putting the ball on the court and not hurting ourselves by making too many errors both from the service line and attacking."

Nick Stevenson, who was averaging 1.5 kills per set before Tuesday, had 16 kills for the Lions.

Stevenson said that, after the Lions lost the third set, their confidence did not waver; they stuck with what was working and did not deviate from what had gotten them a two-set lead.

"It was basically all about creating our own energy," he said. "That's something we've struggled with in the past, but we just tried to push through it the best we could. We just relied on each other and had confidence in one another."

Lindenwood set the tone from the opening set.

The Lions took advantage of seven QU attack errors, and after QU closed to within 14-12, the Lions dominated.

The Hawks led 17-15 late in the second set before a 4-0 run gave the Lions a lead it did not relinquish.

QU had 15 kills in the third set, but the Lions scored eight of the first nine points in the fourth set and wasn't challenged.

Mueller said that, in the next few weeks, it will be "back to the basics."

"We're really just going to hit it hard with the fundamentals," he said. "We're going to take a step back and go back to our preseason roots. We're going to hammer the offense, and hopefully our defense can keep playing at a high level."

Anthony Winter led the Hawks with 11 kills. Thane Fanfulik had 22 assists.

The Hawks resume MIVA play on March 20 at home against McKendree.