LISLE & RIVER FOREST, Illinois – The Mount St. Joseph men's volleyball team traveled to Illinois to take on three opponents. In the first day of competition the Lions struggled to find their offense against the Benedictine Eagles. The Lions struggles continued into the second day of play where they took on Augustana University and Dominican University. The Mount wasn't able to overcome their struggles and finished the weekend 0-3.
In the Lions first match against Benedictine they battled point for point with the Eagles in the first set. The Eagles would go on a 10-4 run halfway through the set but the Lions fought back to bring the score to 23-24. The Lions weren't able to hold on in the final points and dropped the set 25-23. The Mount took an early lead in the second set but Benedictine was able to close the gap. The Eagles took the lead halfway through the set and wouldn't look back, taking the second set by a score of 25-20. The Lions started the third set with a lead yet again but the Eagles would find a way to even up the score. Benedictine would then go a run, bring the score to 16-24. The Lions would go on to win the next four points but the deficit was too much, resulting in a 25-20 set three finish and 3-0 loss.
In the first match of the second day of play the Lions got off to a hot start. Midway through the set the Lions held a strong 14-6 lead over the Vikings. The Lions errors would eventually lead to Augustana's comeback, finding a way to take the set to extra points. Both teams went point for point but the Vikings would come out with the slight 29-27 victory. The Lions held a lead to start the second set but errors haunted them yet again. Augustana would tie the match at 19 and rallied to take the second set by a score of 25-22. The Mount went point for point with the Vikings to start the third set up until the halfway mark. Augustana went on a small run and would keep the lead throughout the rest of the set. The Lions rallied in the final points but it wasn't enough, resulting in a 25-20 set loss and final score of 3-0.
In the Lions final match of the weekend they struggle to gain momentum. The Lions would go point for point with the Stars to start the set out and earned a small lead. Errors led to a lead change and Dominican held a three point lead going into the final points. The Lions almost brought the set back but lost 25-23. The Lions continued their strong play to start the second half but errors kept them out of the match. The Stars capitalized on the Lions mistakes to go on and win the second set 25-15. The Lions offensive struggles continued in the final set, leading to an early deficit. Dominican went on a big run to close out the match but the Lions weren't done yet. Down 14-20 the Lions rallied back to 19-23 but a Mount error and Dominican kill sealed the deal, ending the set 25-23 and the match 3-0.
Jason Hascher (Miamisburg, OH / Alter) led the team on offense during the three game weekend, earning 23 kills. Freshman Rey Sanchez (Arvada, CO / Ralston Valley High School) chipped in 65 assist and 16 digs for the Lions.
The Lions (0-7, 0-0) will host Wittenberg University and Thomas More University to the Harrington Center this Saturday 2/2. The first match will begin at 12:00PM, followed by another at 2:00PM and the last at 4:00PM. Be sure to check MSJSports.com for more updates on the Lions 2019 season!