MILWAUKEE – Junior Sam Stealey had 13 kills to lead a balanced attack for the MSOE men's volleyball team in a 25-21, 25-18, 24-26, 25-20, victory over Fontbonne Friday night at the Kern Center.
The Raiders (4-1, 4-0 MCVL) dropped their first league game of the season to the Griffins (8-5, 4-4 MCVL), but prevailed for their fourth-straight win.
Stealey, a native of St. Louis where Fontbonne is located, had eight kills through the first set and added a pair of service aces. Senior Joe Humpal tallied eight kills in just two sets of action as freshman Spencer Mueller had seven in two sets and junior Logan Baerenwald notched seven kills, as well.
Anthony Pitaro had nine kills to lead the visitors. Brendon Schwartze added eight and Stephen Lendy had seven.
The Griffins jumped ahead in the first set, 5-1, but the Raiders came back. Trailing 7-3, they went on a 6-1 run to re-assert themselves. Later on, it was four-straight Red & White points that put them ahead for good at 22-19. An early 9-1 run gave MSOE a 12-5 advantage. The team pushed that lead to 20-10 with another four-point spurt. Fontbonne did stave off three set points before succumbing.
The visitors came back to take the third set. They had taken an early 5-1 lead like in the first set, only to see a 9-2 Raider run make it 11-8. The deficit peaked at 19-14 when the Griffins started to chisel away. They ended the game on an 11-4 run to stay alive in the match, 26-24.
The decisive fourth set was tight throughout, with neither team pulling ahead by more than two throughout the first half of the game. The score was 19-19 when the Raiders pulled away, scoring five-straight points for match point at 24-19. The Griffins dodged one match point, but freshman Spencer Mueller quickly ended the night with a decisive kill on the next point.
MSOE hit just .192 for the match after a run of successively higher attack percentages over the first four matches of the season, closing out the match with a .323 clip in the fourth set. Fontbonne hit .133, also peaking at the end with a .240 percentage in the final frame.
The Raiders return to the Kern Center floor Saturday, hosting Greenville at 1 p.m.