By: Claire Kositzky
SPORTS AND HEALTH EDITOR
Benedictine University celebrated the start of the school’s first men’s volleyball season this past Wednesday night in the Rice Center. The men’s volleyball team hosted a tri-match with Loras College and Milwaukee School of Engineering.
“Both of the games on Wednesday were really fun to play. They were both good teams and it is awesome to play competitively. For being a first year program, we are holding our own against programs like MSOE that have been programs much longer than we have. We have a lot to learn, but we are learning and getting much better every practice and game,” said freshman outside hitter Jake Moran.
In the opening match, Benedictine scored a win from Loras College with scores from each set: 28-26, 25-16, and 25-22. Leading the Eagles were freshman outside hitter Eric Tarnow with 13 kills and freshman setter Markus Riemer with 12 digs and 41 assists. Sophomore outside hitter Jeremy Villarreal had 10 kills and 6 digs. Freshman middle hitter Lewis Stein recorded 9 kills as well 4 assists. Freshman libero Ian Thompson topped 11 digs as well.
Benedictine lost to MSOE in the second match, who they had faced earlier the past week. It was back-to-back battle between the two teams. At one point, MSOE tied the game up at 23, but with two blocks from freshman outside hitter Sterling Glover and Stein, the eagles were able to snatch the win.
The second set was neck in neck battle with kills. Three errors on Benedictine gave MSOE a lead advantage. MSOE took the lead and won the second set, 25-21.
MSOE was warmed up in the third set, scoring 5 points in a row. Benedictine trailed behind by 2 points on the scoreboard throughout the entire game. MSOE stole this win from Benedictine, 25-21.
In the fourth set, Moran ignited a fire for the Eagles by scoring a service ace, taking the lead with a score of 13-8. Moran continued to score 4 straight points, giving Benedictine a 5-point lead and winning the set, 25-22.
Throughout the final fifth set, Benedictine trailed behind with 1 point. Unfortunately, they were not able to score that extra point needed to win the set and the overall match. The final score of the fifth set was 14-11.
“Our coach, Dan Buehring, is doing an awesome job with the program and I see a different ending for our next match against MSOE,” said Moran.
Glover had 10 kills and Tarnow topped with 8 kills. Thompson led defense with 15 digs. Freshman middle hitter Zach Loeding and Markus Riemer each had 2.5 blocks.
“It was an awesome experience at our home games Wednesday. The opportunity to play in the inaugural year of the volleyball program is something we will remember forever. Every time we step out onto the court, we learn and grow as a team,” said Riemer.
Although the team faced a tough loss against St. Xavier this past Friday, they hold a record of 2-3. Men’s volleyball has strong team chemistry. Great things will be coming their way this season. Their next game will be in River Forest against Juniata College at 6 p.m. this Friday, January 30.