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Lions' men's volleyball pushed to five sets in both matches on Saturday

Sunday, February 23, 2014
by Dane Neumeister

The Mount men's volleyball team traveled to Greenville, PA on Saturday for two matches; defeating Eastern Mennonite University, 3-2; and then dropping a match to host Thiel College, 3-2. The Lions are now 8-5 on the season and will return to action on Feb. 28 when they play at Fontbonne University.

The Mount and EMU squared off in the day's first action, with the first four set scores at: 23-25, 25-13, 22-25, 25-22, forcing a fifth and decisive set, which the Lions captured by a 15-11 margin. The Mount had 65 kills as a team, hitting .235 overall, including .323 in the final set. Alex Vohland (West Chester, OH/Lakota West) helped paced four Mount players in double-digit kill totals, recording 21 kills and 10 digs. Richie Planek (Wheaton, IL/Wheaton Warrenville South) chipped in 13 kills, and three block assists, while teammates Toby Birnbrich (Anthem, AZ/Boulder Creek) and Alec King (Cincinnati, OH/La Salle0 added 12 kills each. King also had 13 digs and three service aces, while hitting .267. Birnbrich added two block assists and had a .476 hitting percentage. Zach Kuebler (Columbus, OH/Hilliard Darby) had a match-high 15 digs while Luke Eschenbach (Cincinnati, OH/La Salle) added 60 assists and 11 digs.

The Lions fell behind 2-0 in the second match, losing the first two sets by scores of 20-25, 23-25, but rebounded to take the third sets, 25-23 and 25-22. Their final set of the day saw them lose, 11-15, as Thiel grabbed the hard-fought win. The Lions totaled 66 kills as a team, with Vohland collecting 27 kills, and adding 17 digs. Planek had a solid all-around match, recording 14 kills, six digs, three service aces, and three block assists. Eschenbach added 63 assists, 14 digs, two service aces and two block assists. Brett Cooper (Cincinnati, OH/La Salle) had five block assists. King added 10 kills, Birnbrich had nine kills and Kuebler chipped in a match-high tying 17 digs.

Head Coach Ryan Lengerich had this to say about the Lions two, five-set road matches.

"The team went on the road and battled two tough CVC East opponents,'' Lengerich said. "The win against EMU showed a lot of heart after being down 2 -1 the guys stayed calm and pulled out the win.

"Taking on a tough Thiel squad right after a long, five set match (against EMU) was a lot to ask but after a slow start the guys pushed them to the brink. They were warriors and deserve a lot of credit for not ever giving up."

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