MILWAUKEE – The MSOE men's volleyball team opened its 2014 season with a pair of wins defeating McKendree 3-1 and coming back to down Dominican 3-2 Sunday at the Kern Center.
The Raiders (2-0) defeated the Bearcats (1-4) in four sets, 25-23, 25-17, 17-25, 25-23, before battling back for a 23-25, 19-25, 25-21, 25-17, 15-9, victory over the Stars (1-3).
Facing a 2-0 deficit in the match against Dominican, MSOE mounted a comeback by rebounding to win the third set. Neither team getting much separation in the set until DU scored four-straight to take a 15-11 lead. The Raiders responded with three quick points, but was later down 19-16. They then scored four-straight points to take the lead and did not look back. They scored the final three points to close out the set.
MSOE broke a 10-10 tie in the fourth-set, scoring five-straight points to take control. The team slowly added to its lead, before forcing a fifth set with back-to-back kills.
The Red and White won the deciding frame with its most decisive performance of the day. It scored four-straight points for a 5-2 lead early on then strung together six-consecutive scores to turn a modest 7-6 advantage into a 13-6 lead. The Raiders then put away the match on a kill from junior Nick Manning.
Manning posted a double-double of 15 kills and 12 digs against DU after 15 kills to go with three service aces and six digs in the opener. Freshman Joe Humpal made a strong collegiate debut. After 38 assists in the opener, he posted 51 assists, eight kills, three aces and two solo blocks in the nightcap.
The Raiders struggled to string together points in the first two sets against Dominican. Each time they did, DU responded. The first set was tight, down to the end, finishing at 25-23. The visitors then used runs of 5-0 and 6-1 to take a 19-12 lead. MSOE fended off set point as best it could, scoring four-straight points, but it was not enough.
Against McKendree, each of the sets was played fairly close. The Raiders used a pair of 4-0 runs to gets some separation in the first set, while it was a 6-0 run that broke a 13-13 tie in the second. McKendree bounced back in the third set, holding the lead for much of the frame thanks to a modest 4-0 run and closing out the set with five-straight points.
The final set was much of the same, as MSOE scored four-straight points to overcome a 20-18 deficit and take control down the stretch.
The Raiders return to action a week from Tuesday, Feb. 4, at Cardinal Stritch.