THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — In game one of back-to-back nights, the Cal Lutheran Kingsmen fell 3-0 to the #7 Benedictine Eagles. Senior Michael Campbell led the team with seven kills and .429 hit percentage, followed closely behind by sophomore Patrick Rowe with six kills and six digs.
Rowe entered tonight's game at second on the school's all-time leaderboard for kills (379). His six kills tonight place him just 12 behind record holder Kristian Gallardo (397) with eight guaranteed contests left to play.
Though the Eagles opened the scoring in set one with a kill by sophomore Nick Malak, the Kingsmen followed closely behind, matching their ranked opponent point by point before opening up the lead to 10-5. A kill from sophomore Justin Dietrich sparked the five-point scoring run and the team continued by capitalizing on consecutive errors by the Eagles followed by a kill form sophomore Andrew Reina and ace from Dietrich.
However, the Eagles rallied back behind double-digit kill nights by sophomore Elijah Medlock and junior Adriel Rivas. Medlock led the Eagles with 12 kills in 28 attacks (.321) and 13.5 points. Closely behind, outside hitter Rivas finished the night 10-for-18 (.222) and 10.5 points.
The Eagles went on to take match one 25-20 and continued their momentum to secure match two 25-12.
Looking to avoid the sweep in match three, the Kingsmen opened up with a kill from Campbell, firing up the team for their strongest set of the night. Campbell and Rowe combined to block Medlock's attack for the next point. The teams went back and forth, tying the score up at six apiece, before Benedictine opened the score to 10-6 and held onto their lead to the final points of the match.
At 24-21, the Kingsmen began to close the gap after a service error by the Eagles. Campbell again came in clutch for the team with a kill to bring the team within two points. Sophomore Grant Nelson followed suit with his third kill of the night, pulling the score to 24-23. However, the late comeback fell short as Medlock came through once again for Benedictine's match-winning kill.
Cal Lutheran (12-7) looks to even up the series against Benedictine (Ill.) tomorrow night Wednesday, Mar. 21, at 7:00 p.m. inside Gilbert Arena.
Box Score: BU 3, CLU 0
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Release by Christy Effendie, Assistant Sports Information Director