CHICAGO, Illinois-- The Lions came into the Midwest Collegiate Volleyball Conference as the fourth seed, and the lowest ranked team in the AVCA top-15, at 15th. They surely did not play that way in the opening match of the tournament, when they defeated Carthage in four sets. That win would get them into the championship game against host and top-seeded Dominican University.
They Lions opened the match very slowly getting dominated in the first two sets. They lost the sets 25-15 and 25-14 respectively hitting an abysmal -.074 percent. The Lions were noticeably erratic in the first two sets, committing an inordinate amount of attack and service errors. The Stars of Dominican were able to keep the pressure on the Lions through out those opening sets, never allowing the Lions to gain any momentum.
That all changed in set three, as the Lions gained momentum early in the set. They were much more crisp in there passing, and attacking. The setting of Nathan Herdeman (Cincinnati, OH/Elder) was much better in the third, as he was getting his hitters much cleaner looks. They took their first lead of the match at 4-3 in the third set, from there they did not trail again in the set. The Mount attack was outstanding in the third as they registered 15 kills against only 6 errors in the set. They ended up winning the set 25-19.
The fourth set would be an extremely exciting set to watch. The Lions led early, but Dominican fought back to tie the score at 10. From there it would remain tight as neither team led by more than one point, until with the score tied at 20, Dominican went on a tournament clinching run. They scored the sets next three points, and held on to take down the Lions 25-23. The Lions absolutely did not quit and fought the entire match, showing the grit and fortitude we love to see from our Mount St. Joseph student-athletes.
Two Mount St. Joseph student-athletes were selected to represent the team on the all-tournament team. The selection of these two outstanding young men was a final reward for their stellar careers. Seniors Alex Vohland (West Chester, OH/Lakota West) and Brett Cooper (Cincinnati, OH/LaSalle) represented the Lions on this team. This coming only days after each was recognized by the MCVL for their regular season accomplishments. Vohland as the Lions lone first team all-MCVL player, and Cooper on the second team.
The Lions season has come to an end, but was anything but a disappointment. They were had their backs pressed firmly against the wall late in the season. There were doubts they would even make the MCVL tournament. But they finished the regular season on a five match winning streak, and carried that momentum to a victory over Carthage in the semi-finals. This was the Lions first win in program history over the storied Carthage program. Coach Cristina Webb and her Lions will look to continue their run of success next season in a new look MCVL.