Men’s volleyball fails to invade Viking territory

Emily Thompson, Sports Editor

The Illinois Wesleyan men’s volleyball team returned home from Rock Island, Ill. on Tuesday, March 1 with a three-set loss to Augustana and a 6-9 overall record this season. Titan defense couldn’t handle the Vikings’ barrage as they were out-killed 29-25 and out-aced 5-2. 

The first set was over shortly after it started with Augustana stealing a five point lead early on. First-year Ryan Myers managed to sneak a kill into the Vikings’ otherwise uninterrupted streak that put the score at 2-7. 

Despite the quick shutout, the Titans weren’t completely absent at the net. Sophomores Julian Perez, Javier Romano and Michael Eastman turned up the power in the second half of the set. They combined with Myers to churn out ten kills before the end of the set. 

The attempted comeback was not enough to pull the Titans out of hot water and the first set went to Augustana at 25-17. 

In the second set, the Titans did not go down as easily. Both teams kept each other within one point until the Titans pulled out a five-point triage that put them up 8-4. Eastman and Myers kept the kills coming, managing to keep the Titans ahead by four. 

The Titans’ advantage slipped away with a six point streak by Augie that overtook the Titans and changed the score to 19-17. It seemed like the Titans’ luck was going to change when sophomore Freddy Gamarra and Eastman pulled out back-to-back kills to even the scores back up. 

 

Augustana, of course, had other plans and closed out the set with six straight points that brought them to 25-20. 

The third set proved similar to the first. Perez opened the scoring for the Titans, who pulled forward by two points. The Vikings responded with yet another hot streak that gave them a five point bump. 

From there, the Titans struggled to bring the A-game back. Perez and Gamarra provided two points via kills, but the rest of the Titans’ points came from errors on Augie’s part. 

Steady offense for the rest of the set made IWU’s fall short and swift with a final score of 25-17. 

Perez set the pace for the match with seven kills, followed by Eastman and Myers with six each. The setter duo of sophomore Bradley Benson and first-year Vince DiCosola provided 13 and 10 assists, respectively. 

The Illinois Wesleyan men’s volleyball team will have a chance to redeem themselves in Chicago, Ill. for a College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin matchup against North Central. Serve is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.