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Volleyball's Historic Season Ends In First Round

Volleyball's Historic Season Ends In First Round

KENOSHA, Wis. – MSOE men's volleyball played in the programs first NCAA tournament game this afternoon, taking on Fontbonne University, who made the trip to southeast Wisconsin from St. Louis. The Raiders got off to a great start, but service errors would come back to haunt them the rest of the way, falling out of tournament in the opening round on Friday evening inside Tarble Arena.

Fontbonne – 3 (20, 27, 25, 25
MSOE Raiders – 1 (25, 25, 20, 22)

Set one started a little later than was originally scheduled due to the length of the UC Santa Cruz/Carthage match, but that didn't deter the MSOE (21-8, 13-3 NACC) faithful from bringing a home court advantage to Tarble Arena. The Raiders feed off the energy, using a 9-4 run to lock down a five-point lead at 18-13. They would hold that advantage the rest of the way, going up 1-0 with the 25-20 victory.

Things seemingly continued to go well in the second frame. After another feeling out process between the Raiders and Fontbonne (26-2, 6-2 MCVL), the Red & White jumped out to another five-point lead in the middle of the set. It was after the Griffins used their first team timeout that things started to slip away. Down 19-14, Fontbonne scored the next 13 of 19 points, forcing the set to go into extras. Back to back tallies off a kill and an MSOE attack error evened up the match at 1-1 with the 27-25 decision. The main issue leading to the loss was the Raiders giving up nine points via service errors in the set.

Knowing that the winner of the next battle would be in the driver's seat, the Raiders played with urgency, but weren't able to pull away at any point. Each team traded points back and forth, with neither gaining more than a two-tally advantage. The Raiders were once again a victim of a post timeout surge, almost exactly the way it happened in the previous frame. With the Raiders leading 15-14 after the media timeout, the Griffins racked up seven straight points, and 11 of the last 16 to find themselves only one win away from advancing.

Unfortunately, the momentum was already in the hands of Fontbonne and would stay there for the rest of the match. The Raiders led after the first few points in set four, but that would be all the control that they could muster. After hitting exactly .000 in the previous set, the Raiders managed only a .163 attack percentage thanks to eight errors. Consistency was key for Fontbonne all night, committing less than five errors in each set, and they used that to their advantage. The Griffins rode their wave of emotion to knock out the Raiders 3-1 with the final frame score of 25-22.

The Raiders hit .212 in their first NCAA tournament appearance, slightly below their season average of .259. They also committed 20 service errors, something that was hard for them to overcome, especially in the second set.

Quin Krisik (Itasca, Ill. / Itasca) – 5 kills, 52 assists, 3 aces
Ben Pung (Loveland, Ohio / St. Xavier) – 22 kills, 11 digs, .304 hitting percentage
Danny Martens (Northbrook, Ill. / Glenbrook North) – 21 digs

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