THOUSAND OAKS, Calif.— Patrick Rowe swatted down a team-high 10 kills, with a .471 hitting percentage, to lead the Cal Lutheran Kingsmen past the Illinois Tech Scarlet Hawks 3-0 on Friday. The scores of the match were 25-19, 25-22, 25-21.
It was the third sweep of the year for the Kingsmen. Cal Lutheran improves to 4-2 and drops Illinois Tech to 0-3.
The Kingsmen had their second-highest hitting percentage of the year as the team combined to hit .286. Their best percentage for the year is .321 against Arcadia in the first game of the season. Cal Lutheran also had a season-high seven service aces.
This is the fourth time this year that Rowe has tallied double-digit kills. His .471 clip is a season-high. He added three digs, three blocks and two service aces.
Andrew Reina and Brendan Ward were next with eight kills apiece. Reina had five digs and two service aces. Connor Hinthorn, Andrew McFarlane and Mason Mercer all recorded their first kill of the season.
Grant Nelson moved the ball around and dished out 24 assists. He also led the team with three service aces.
The Kingsmen took an early lead in set one were up 7-2. The Scarlet Hawks fought back and tied the set at 13. With CLU up 16-15, the Kingsmen scored five of the next six points and had a 21-16 lead. Ward, Rowe and Dietrich tallied three consecutive kills to put the Kingsmen at 21. That was the momentum Cal Lutheran needed as the Kingsmen won the first set 25-19.
The second set continued to be just as close. Illinois Tech took a lead late and were up 15-14. The Kingsmen rattled off five straight points and took the lead right back. Reina and Dietrich had a kill and Rowe had a solo block. The Scarlet Hawks got back in the game and only trailed 23-21, before Hinthorn swatted down his first collegiate kill. After an Illinois Tech error, CLU wont the set 25-22 and had a 2-0 match lead.
CLU opened the third set on a roll and quickly doubled up Illinois Tech 16-8. The Scarlet Hawks wouldn't back down and cut the lead to two at 20-18. That was as close as the Scarlet Hawks would get as the Kingsmen won the set 25-21 and the match 3-0.
Up next for Cal Lutheran is UC Santa Cruz. The Kingsmen host the Banana Slugs on Saturday at 7 p.m. in Gilbert Arena.
Interview with Quezada and Rowe:
Box Score: No. 8 CLU 3, IIT 0
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Release by Ryan Jorgenson, Sports Information Director