MILWAUKEE - The old saying goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it?" The Milwaukee School of Engineering listened to that piece of advice and got another victory to show for their effort. The Red & White committed only seven errors in tonight's match, putting pressure on the visiting Augustana Vikings. Taking care of the ball ended up leading to their second straight 3-0 victory on Friday night inside Hotchkin Arena.
Two of the three sets were extremely competitive this evening, each seeing a MSOE (12-6, 6-2 NACC) run take place that allowed the Raiders to pull away. The first set saw the Red & White fall behind Augustana (7-10, 2-0 CCIW) early, as the Vikings held a 6-2 advantage after the first eight points. The Red & White climbed back into contention however, finally tying the game up at 11-11. With everything even, each team exchanged the lead several times before the Raiders went on a 9-2 run to close out the first set by the score of 25-21.
The second frame followed the same pattern early on, but aggressive play from MSOE forced a game high nine errors out of the Vikings. AU was only able to string multiple points together just once in the middle battle, easily give set number two to the good guys 25-16.
The third and final game of the night looked like it was going to be over quick, with the Raiders taking a 9-3 advantage right from the start. But an Augustana timeout turned things around, with the Vikings quickly getting back into the thick of things. Down 10-3, AU scored the next nine of 13 points to even things back up at 13-all. The Raiders, having been through many battles already this season, weren't phased by the Augustana comeback. The boys in their home white jerseys refocused, going right back to work. The Raiders would never allow the Vikings to lead in the set and closed out the win on a 9-3 run for the 25-19 set victory and 3-0 match win.
Jacob Sirny (Brookfield, Wis./East) had himself a game this evening, racking up 12 kills and two blocks to go along with a .550 hitting percentage. Spencer Mueller (Fox Lake, Ill./Carmel Catholic) was a force at the net, accumulating six block assists in the process. Quin Krisik (Itasca, Ill./Itasca) continued to be a strong force in setting up the Raiders scoring attack with 29 assists on the evening. Leaders for AU were Jason Szara, with ten digs and seven kills, and Ryan Hirschel was added 15 assists.
With tonight's victory, the Raiders have now won a season high four straight games and will look for a fifth tomorrow. It won't be easy however as they welcome the 10th ranked Dominican Stars to the Kern Center for a 1:00 pm afternoon matinee.