Men’s volleyball sweeps Millikin under the court

Emily Thompson, Features Editor

Photo: IWU Athletics

The Illinois Wesleyan men’s volleyball team dropped Millikin with a three-set sweep in a weeknight home game on Tuesday, February 22. Swift and steady offense gave the Titans three consecutive victories (25-15, 25-18, 25-13) and bumped them to 1-2 in College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin play. 

 

The Titans dominated the court in kills (37-19), digs (32-22), aces (10-1) and blocks (5.5-4). Sophomore KJ Johnson contributed a game-high ten kills on his own. 

 

Sophomore Bradley Benson and freshman Vince DiCosola proved formidable on the assist, adding on 14 and 12, respectively. Benson also claimed the match-high in aces with five of the team’s ten. 

 

Millikin managed to hold out for the beginning of the first set, staying within two points of the Titans’ advantage. But, a kill by Johnson sparked a five-point streak consisting of kills by sophomore Michael Eastman and freshman Jake Kougan. 

 

Two additional kills by Kougan brought the Titans up 16-9 and the IWU ran the set out from there. The Big Blue only managed two kills for the remainder of the set, garnering the rest of their points from service errors by the Titans. 

 

But, the Titans’ offense did not show the same scoring drought. Kougan and freshman Ryan Myers closed out the first set with three consecutive kills and a final score of 25-15.

 

The second set of the night proved much of the same. The Titans accumulated a five-point advantage before the Big Blue knew how to respond. Sophomore Julian Perez and Johnson opened up scoring with three kills in a row. 

 

From there, the Titans remained ahead by at least two points for the duration of the set. The Big Blue managed to bring the deficit to two only once with a pair of kills that brought the score to 15-13. 

 

But, the Titans hammered out four kills in response to the narrowing point gap. Wesleyan managed the final seven points of the set with only two service error interruptions. 

 

The second set went to the Titans once again with a final score of 25-18. 

 

Millikin seemed to run out of steam by the third set, which allowed the Titans to get ahead quickly. A series of attack errors and poor defense combined to put the Titans at 8-1 only minutes into the set. 

 

Kills by Kougan, Myers and Johnson gave the Titans double-digits before the Big Blue managed to break five points. Millikin tried to fight back with a brief four-point streak, but the Titans had other plans for the set. 

 

The Titans assailed the Big Blue with five consecutive points of their own, pushing the score to 20-9. By the time Millikin hit double-digits, Perez, Johnson and Myers combined to give the Titans the final five points of the match. 

 

The men’s volleyball team will return to Shirk this weekend to host Carthage College in a weekend conference match on Saturday, February 26 at 7:00 P.M.