CINCINNATI, Ohio – The Mount St. Joseph University men's volleyball team continued conference play this weekend with two matches against Greenville University and Fontbonne University. The Lions defeated the Panthers in their first match but were unable to defeat the Griffins in the second match of the weekend.
In the Lions first match of the weekend they took an early 6-0 lead over the Panthers. Greenville managed to string together a few points but a service run from Darrell Swanson (Las Vegas, NV / Arbor View) continued to build the Lions lead. The Mount was able to capitalize on Greenville errors to take the first set 25-17. Greenville picked up their play and challenged the Lions in the second set. The score was close the whole set with Greenville taking the lead halfway through the set. The Lions were able to chip away at the deficit on a four point service run from Swanson to bring the score to 22-22. Both teams made errors in the final points, leading to extra points. A kill from Swanson and Jason Hascher (Miamisburg, OH / Alter) gave the Lions the 28-26 set two victory. The battle continued in the third set and neither team was able to take a significant lead. After back and forth points the Lions were able to pull away when Jack Spohn (Columbus, OH / Olentangy) made his way to the service line. Spohn went on an eight point service run with three aces to give the Lions the 25-17 set three victory.
In the Lions second match against the Fontbonne they got off to a quick 6-0 lead. Fontbonne slowly chipped away at the deficit and was able to tie the score at 20. Rey Sanchez (Arvada, CO / Ralston Valley High School) gave the Lions some breathing room in the final points and a kill from Hascher gave them a 25-22 set one victory. The Lions once again took an early lead to start set two but the Griffins quickly countered with a run of their own. Neither team was able to take a lead until the final points and it was the Griffins who prevailed, taking set two 25-21. The third set was neck and neck until the Lions were able to take a four point lead halfway through the set. After a Fontbonne timeout the Griffins started their comeback and were able to tie the game at 23. Back to back errors from the Lions gave the Griffins the third set 25-23. The Lions kept the score close in the early points of the fourth set but couldn't quite find their groove. The Griffins took the lead midway through the set and didn't look back, taking the fourth set 25-18 and the match 3-1.
The Lions were led by Zack Storc (Columbus, OH / Bishop Watterson) and Hascher on offense, earning 26 and 27 kills, respectively. Swanson chipped in 21 kills and 19 digs over the two match weekend. Libero Nick Melbardis (Indianapolis, IN / Cathedral) led the Lions defense, digging 30 balls in two matches.
The Lions will celebrate their seniors this upcoming weekend with two home matches. The first will be this Friday, March 5th against Augustana College starting at 7:00PM. The second game will be Senior Day as the Lions take on Loras College at 2:00PM on Saturday to finish out the regular season. Continue to check MSJSports.com for more updates on the Lions 2019 season!