LOCATION: Huntingdon & Altoona, PA
The Lions had a spectacular weekend, going 3-0 while also beating two nationally ranked teams. In the first match against #6 Juniata College the Lions got off to a hot start and rallied to take a four set victory. In the second day of play the Lions faced #13 Nazareth College and Penn State Altoona. After a slow start in the first match the Lions picked up their play to win the next three sets, beating Nazareth 3-1. The Lions continued their momentum into the next match, quickly defeating Penn State Altoona in three straight sets.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
MSJ vs. Juniata
In the Lions first match against the #6 Juniata Eagles they started off strong, quickly jumping to 5-2 lead. Juniata would fight but the Lions would keep the lead for most of the set. Two big blocks from Andrew Chisholm (Cincinnati, OH / Oak Hills) set up game point for the Lions and a kill from Zack Storc (Columbus, OH / Bishop Watterson) would give them the first set 25-20. The Mount got off to another hot start in the second set, finding themselves up 8-4. Juniata wasn't ready to give up and rallied back to take the lead halfway through the set. The Lions were able to tie the score at 20 but Juniata would go on to win five out of the next seven points to take the second set 25-22. In the third set Juniata would get off to a hot start but the Lions quickly countered to tie the score at 7. The Lions would capitalize on their momentum to win 10 out of the next 13 points to take a 17-10 lead. Although Juniata would continue to apply pressure, the Lion wouldn't look back and took the third set 25-21. The fourth set was a back and forth affair, with neither team able to take a solid lead. Juniata was finally able to pull away late in the set but the Lions looked to finish the match. Tied at 25, two big blocks by Ben Holt (Cincinnati, OH / Roger Bacon), Nathan Herdeman (Cincinnati, OH / Elder), Jason Hascher (Miamisburg, OH / Alter), and Chisholm solidified the win for the Lions 27-25.
MSJ vs. Nazareth
In the Lions second day of competition they faced #13 Nazareth College Golden Eagles. In the first set the Lions couldn't quite find their groove. Nazareth would take a 10-8 and wouldn't look back. The Lions offensive struggled led them to drop the first set 25-19. The Lions would once again get off to a slow start, trailing 5-2 but didn't take long to find their rhythm. A five point service run from Herdeman gave the Lions the lead and they would go on to dominate the set. A kill from Storc capped off the Lions amazing performance in the second set, winning 25-16. The Mount would take no time to build another lead going into the third set and wouldn't trail for the rest of the set. The Lions would continue to capitalize on the Golden Eagles errors, ending the third set on a service error 25-18. The Mount continued their stellar play to take a quick 7-2 lead. The Lions would go on to hit .500 as they took the final set 25-18.
MSJ vs. Penn State Altoona
In The Mounts final match of the weekend they took on Penn State Altoona Lions. The Lions quickly continued their success from the previous match to take a 6-2 lead. Penn State Altoona wasn't able to keep up with the Lions offense and couldn't string together a run. A kill from Adam Williams (Chicago, IL / Mt. Carmel) would give the Lions the first set 25-14. Penn State Altoona wasn't ready to give up yet and gave the Mount a run for their money. Neither team was able to take the lead with the score staying within two points for most of the set. With the score tied at 22 the Lions kicked it into high gear with two big kills from Holt and Hascher. After a timeout from Penn State Altoona the Lions took the second set 25-22 after an error from their opponents. In the final set of the match the Lions turned up their intensity to try and sweep Penn State Altoona. After a quick 5-1 lead the Lions wouldn't look back and continued to dominate. With the match in hand the Lions were able to clear the bench, which allowed Derek DeMaison (Cincinnati, OH / LaSalle) to get his first assist of his college career to Holt. The Lion would win the set 25-19 and the set 3-0.
Hascher has become an offensive weapon for the Lions as he went on to earn 39 kills over the three game weekend. In the match against Juniata, Chisholm protected the net with 11 blocks. Herdeman dished out 112 assist over the weekend while also protecting the back row with 24 digs.
The Lions take on Dominican University and Elmira College in their first home matches of the season this Friday 2/2. They then travel to Wittenberg University to take on Marian University on Saturday 2/3. Check MSJsports.com for more updates on the Lions season.