CHICAGO – Ben Pung (Loveland, Ohio/St. Xavier) had 14 kills and Quin Krisik (Itasca, Ill/Itasca) continued to be an assist machine, as the #9 MSOE men's volleyball team defeated Illinois Tech in four sets to punch their ticket to the NACC men's volleyball postseason tournament.
#9 MSOE Raiders – 3 (25, 25, 23, 25)
IIT Scarlet Hawks – 1 (20, 18, 25, 12)
HOW IT HAPPENED
#9 MSOE (15-6, 9-2 NACC) had some issues in the first set, committing a game high seven errors and hitting just .182. They were able to overcome those setbacks however thanks to ITT's (5-14, 2-9 NACC) five errors compared to just seven kills. However, the Scarlet Hawks were able to stay with the Raiders until about midway through, when MSOE was able to create some distance between the two clubs. A brief three point run by Illinois Tech made things interesting down the stretch, but the Raiders were able to lock down set one 25-20.
The Red & White rebounded from a less than stellar hit percentage in the first frame by turning in a .640 average in the second. Once again, the set stayed even until 13-11, where the Raiders went on to win the next seven of ten points. IIT only managed back-to-back points twice during the 25-18 defeat to put MSOE up 2-0.
Illinois Tech did not lay down in the third however, putting up quite the battle. The Raiders turned in their worst frame of the night, hitting just .115, which allowed the Scarlet Nights a chance to earn their first win of the match. IIT hit .484 with 17 kills, as they dictated the pace of play throughout. MSOE tried get back within striking distance as the set came to a close but dropped their first of the night 25-22.
All season the Raiders have had strong responses after a losing set, and tonight was no exception. The team came out and buried 16 kills on IIT's side of the net, good for a .750 hitting percentage. They quickly jumped out to an 18-8 lead and went on a 7-2 run to give them their seventh win in a row with the final score of 25-12.
With the win, the Raiders moved to 9-2 in the NACC and have officially locked in their spot for the conference tournament at the end of the regular season. They are also just one game back of Benedictine for first place in the regular season standings.
TEAM STAT OF THE GAME
The Red & White had four different players with at least nine total attacks hit over .400. Illinois Tech failed to have any players that qualified under that criteria.
RAIDER STAT TRACKER
- Quin Krisik: 37 assists, 13 digs
- Ben Pung: 14 kills, five digs
- Spencer Mueller (Fox Lake, Ill./Carmel Catholic): .556 attack percentage, two solo blocks, two block assists
WHO'S ON DECK?
The Raiders will be back on the road tomorrow afternoon, looking for conference win number ten when they take on Aurora in Illinois at 1:00 pm.