Men's College Volleyball

Hawks unable to avoid three-set sweep by Mastodons

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Mar. 30, 2019 12:20 am Updated: Mar. 30, 2019 12:45 am

QUINCY -- The stat sheet showed the Quincy University men's volleyball team's attacking improved in the second and third sets against Purdue Fort Wayne.

Quincy had twice as many attacking errors as it did kills in the first set, but combined for 26 kills and just seven errors the next two sets.

"The numbers don't lie," Quincy coach Gavin Mueller said. "(Fort Wayne) read every single move we made and blocked us. The only thing that kept us in it was their missed serves. We played right into their hand. But in sets two and three, we played good ball."

It wasn't enough to avoid a three-set sweep as Quincy fell 25-12, 25-21, 25-23 to 15th-ranked Fort Wayne on Friday night at Pepsi Arena, losing its 11th straight Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association match.

"We just decided we could play with these guys and weren't as timid," Quincy outside hitter Omari Wheeler said. "We knew we could. It's just coming out and doing it."

That means getting the points up for grabs.

"There's a couple balls here and there that really determined the last couple of sets," Wheeler said. "Those scrap balls or the 50-50 balls are the ones that are tough to get over."

Quincy (5-19, 0-11 MIVA) got those in the second set. The Hawks closed within 22-19 after scoring three straight points, but a long rally ended with the Mastodons (15-9, 7-4) scoring. The two sides traded the next four points as the Mastodons took a two-set lead.

In the third set, Quincy used two straight kills by Wheeler to lead 14-12 before Fort Wayne went on a 4-0 run highlighted by two straight aces for a 16-14 advantage. The second ace happened because of miscommunication.

However, Quincy hung around and led 18-17, but a service error and an attacking error gave Fort Wayne a 19-18 lead. The Mastodons didn't trail after that and closed the match.

Quincy had 16 attacking errors and made 15 service errors.

"In volleyball, one point can make a lot," Quincy junior middle Blake Sprecher said. "But you still have the next play, too."

The better play over the final two sets pleased Mueller.

"(Fort Wayne) beat us, but we made them beat us," Mueller said. "I was happy with sets two and three. Set one, no one was happy with that."

In the first set, Quincy held a 8-7 lead after a Fort Wayne service error, but the Mastodons scored six straight points to pull away. Only three of the Hawks' points in the set came from kills.

Wheeler led Quincy with 13 kills, while Sprecher added six. Adam Rogan dished out 25 assists for the Hawks.