Kenosha, WI & Naperville, IL – The Mount St. Joseph University Lions traveled to take on #5 Carthage College and #9 North Central College to start conference play. The Lions struggled to find their offense against the two tough opponents and finished the weekend 0-2.
In the Lions first match against Carthage they managed to keep the first set close. Carthage got off to an early lead but the Lions bounced back and would go point for point with the Redmen. Carthage went on a small run after being tied at 14 but the Lions rallied to tie the score at 20. Both teams battled in the final points, leading to extra points. After back to back errors from the Lions, Carthage was able to take the first set 27-25. After a tough first set the Lions struggled to find their offense. The Mount went point for point with the Redmen in the early points but back to back runs by Carthage gave them a big lead. The Lions managed to find a few more points but the deficit was too much and they dropped the set 25-15. The Lions picked up their play in the third set and after a close start the Lions were able to pull away. Up 14-8 the Lions continued to press their lead but Carthage would slowly chip away at the deficit. The Redmen managed to tie the score at 23 and forced a Mount timeout. After the timeout, Carthage went on to win three of the next four points and take the set 26-24 and the match 3-0.
In game number two of the weekend the Lions couldn't find their groove and found themselves at a deficit early. The Cardinals controlled the tempo during the set and despite a Lions run, the Cardinals were able to take the first set 25-19. The Lions picked up their play in the second set and after being down in early in the set they were able to tie the score at 14. North Central scored the next two points but Ben Holt (Cincinnati, OH / Roger Bacon) went on a nine point service run to give the Lions a 23-16 lead. A service error from North Central and kill from Jason Hascher (Miamisburg, OH / Alter) would give the Lions the second set 25-19. The Lions continued their strong play in the early points of the first set but a seven point service run from the Cardinals left the Lions stunned. The Lions couldn't find their offensive in the final points and dropped the set 25-16. The Mounts struggles continued into the fourth set and they found themselves at a deficit early. Despite multiple runs from the Lions in the final points, North Central took the final set 25-19 and the match 3-1.
Hascher led the Lions on offense over the two game weekend, earning 25 kills and two blocks. Darrell Swanson (Las Vegas, NV / Arbor View) and Rey Sanchez (Arvada, CO / Ralston Valley High School) cleaned up the back row with 19 and 20 digs, respectively.
The Lions (4-12, 0-2) will travel to New York this weekend to take on three opponents. On Friday, March 8th they will take on Elmira College at 6:00PM. On Saturday, March 9th the Lions will take on Vassar College at 1:30PM, followed by a match against Nazareth College at 4:00PM. Continue to check MSJSports.com for more updates on the Lions 2019 season!