Herald-Whig

Hawks hungry to put tallies in win column

Quincy University middle blocker Adam Meyer attempts to hit a shot between the block of Mount Olive’s Tobi Azeez and Luke Visgitis during the Hawks’ season-opening match Friday at Pepsi Arena. | H-W Photo/Katelyn Metzger
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Jan. 11, 2020 12:01 am Updated: Jan. 11, 2020 12:12 am

QUINCY -- Noam Hannoun had no interest in waiting 24 hours to set the record straight.

The Quincy University men's volleyball team's sophomore libero preferred to get right back on the court Friday following a three-set loss to Mount Olive in the season opener at Pepsi Arena.

"You have no idea," Hannoun said.

A preseason All-Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association selection, Hannoun firmly believes the Hawks are better than what they showed in the 25-20, 25-17, 25-23 loss.

"Today was a rough one," Hannoun said. "It showed us we still have a lot of work to do. We had some good stuff today, but we couldn't put together more than a few good points. I'm sure it will get better during the season."

He points to one significant reason for that belief.

"We are hungry for wins," said Hannoun, noting the Hawks went 5-23 overall last season and 0-14 in MIVA play. "We played well last season, but we didn't have a lot of success. This team is very hungry for wins. We can't wait to get back on the court and put together a win."

That opportunity comes when the Hawks play host to Lincoln Memorial at 7 p.m. Saturday, and the goal will be to play more consistent defensively.

Neither team led by more than two points in the first set until the Trojans scored three times in a four-point sequence for a 15-11 advantage. The Hawks closed within a point three different times before Mount Olive's Jarrod Ferguson had back-to-back kills and an attack error by Quincy put it in a 22-18 hole.

The Trojans finished the 25-20 victory with three straight points.

In the second set, Mount Olive erased a two-point deficit with a 9-2 run that forced QU coach Gavin Mueller to take two timeouts. The Trojans rolled to an 8-2 lead in the third set and scored the final three points to finish the match.

"Maybe a little bit more communication so to get the easy balls," Hannoun said. "I think that's how we fell today. We didn't take care of the ball enough. And we have to be more aggressive."

The Hawks hit just .127 with 11 kills from Omari Wheeler and seven from Michael Lander. Yoran Raymaekers had 23 assists and eight digs, while Hannoun had seven digs.

"This group is the best group we've had probably in years," Hannoun said. "I'm really proud of the boys. Everyone just has a good work ethic. All of them know what to do. The atmosphere of the team is really good."

Hannoun is convinced the chemistry and camaraderie will lead to the victories the Hawks are hungry to find.

"We play hard, we hustle and we're good friends outside the court," Hannoun said. "It's always good to play for your friends."