LISLE, Illinois – No. 9-ranked Benedictine hit .427 for the match in handing the MSOE men's volleyball team a 26-24, 25-18, 25-14 loss in the NACC Tournament Semifinals Thursday evening at the Rice Center.
The Raiders (14-12) saw their season come to an end while the Eagles (21-5) move on to play No. 9 Benedictine in the inaugural NACC Championship Saturday in River Forest, Illinois.
Elijah Medlock led BenU with 13 kills and Nick Malak had 12.
The night got off to a tight start with the teams trading runs in the opening game. A 7-2 stretch for MSOE reversed a three-point deficit and gave the team a 16-14 lead. The Eagles countered with a 6-3 run but back-to-back points put the Raiders back in the driver's seat heading down the stretch. The teams traded points with the Red & White getting the first set point at 24-23 on a Stealey kill. Back-to-back Malak kills turned the tied and an attack errors gave the home team the final point to claim the set.
The Eagles then hit .600 with just one error in winning the second game. MSOE was within two at 18-16 when they rattled off seven of the last nine points to take a 2-0 lead in the match. The final game was a similar story with the Raiders battling within 14-12 only to seen BenU go on a back-breaking 11-2 run to end the night.
MSOE attacked .104 on the night with 27 kills. The team added five service aces but was unable to get a block going with just one total block in the match. Meanwhile, Benedictine had 40 kills against just eight errors. The home team had five aces of its own and finished with 10.0 blocks.
The match was the final collegiate outing for an accomplished group of seniors. In fact, Naughton (6th, 700), Logan Baerenwald (7th, 691), Stealey (10th, 592), and Holland (528) each finished their careers with over 500 kills and three in the top-10 in school history in career kills. while the group has their names littered elsewhere throughout the career charts.
Meanwhile, sophomore Danny Martens capped his record-breaking campaign with 308 digs, 32 more than any other player in program history. He'll head into his junior campaign already seventh in school history with 541 career digs.