Luke Rinne, Director of Athletic Communications
LORETTO, Pa. – Lewis University’s fourth ranked men’s volleyball team reverse swept New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) in its final match of the Red Flash Invitational on Saturday afternoon at DeGol Arena in Loretto, Pa. The Flyers are now 5-0 on the season while the Highlanders drop to 0-2.
Lewis trailed for a majority of the opening set but came back to take an 18-17 lead on a kill from Ryan Coenen (Franklin, WI/Franklin). That would be its last lead as NJIT went on a 4-1 run to retake the lead at 21-19 on a kill from Martin De Chavarria. The Flyers evened the set at 21 on a kill from Kauling but once again the Highlanders responded scoring three points in a row to get to set point when Luca Berger and Julian Meissner teamed up to block Cole Brillhart (York, Pa./Northeastern).
Lewis fought off two set points getting back-to-back kills from Kauling and Coenen to get within 24-23 but were unable to complete the comeback as a service error ended the stanza.
The second set went back-and-forth early before NJIT seized control with seven straight points to take a 15-8 lead at the midway point. Lewis wouldn’t get closer than six points the rest of the stanza as the Highlanders went onto win 25-15.
The Flyers held the lead for a majority of the third set minus a couple of ties early. They led by as many as six points in the frame and avoided the sweep with a 25-19 set win to extend the match.
Lewis trailed 23-19 in set four and were on the verge of dropping the match but responded with four straight points to even the set at 23. NJIT retook the lead at 24-23 on a kill from De Chavarria but the Flyers got a kill from TJ Murray (Barrington, Ill./Barrington HS) and a block from Murray and Landon Krause (Appleton, Wis./Kimberly) to take its first lead of the set since it was 14-13.
The Highlanders extended the set getting a kill from Alvaro Gimeno to even things at 25 but Lewis was able to close out the set as Murray put them back in front with a kill and then Gimeno missed on his attempt to tie the game as the Flyers won the set 27-25.
Lewis scored six of the first nine points to begin the final set but NJIT countered with a 6-3 run of its own to even the set at 9 after a bad set from Kauling. The Flyers got back-to-back points as Tyler Mitchem (Bolingbrook, Ill./Bolingbrook HS) recorded a kill and then teamed up with Kauling to block Gimeno to make it 11-9.
The two sides traded the next five points but Lewis remained in front at 13-12. Coenen brought the Flyers to match point with his match-high 23rd kill and then Krause put it away with his eighth kill to complete the comeback for Lewis.
The Flyers finished the contest hitting .268 recording 62 kills against 25 errors in 138 chances. Coenen matched his career-high with 23 kills and was joined in double figures by Mitchem with 12 kills and Murray finished with 10 kills. Kauling dished out 46 assists while Krause had a match-high 10 digs.
The Highlanders hit .269 in the match with 57 kills against 21 errors in 134 total attacks. Gimeno led NJIT with 20 kills while Julian Meissner finished with 16 kills. Griffin Fieseler had 33 assists and Joe Kennedy added 10 digs.
Lewis opens Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA) play on Friday (Feb. 5) as it travels to Columbus, Ohio to take on Ohio State in the first of two matches next weekend at 12 p.m. (CST)