LISLE, Ill.— The No. 12 Cal Lutheran men's volleyball team took the No. 9 Benedictine Eagles to the end of every set, but weren't to finish them off as the Eagles defeated the Kingsmen 3-0 Sunday afternoon in Rice Center.
The Kingsmen had a tough task as they took on four top-10 opponents in just three days. Cal Lutheran lost to all four teams, but scored 20-plus points in seven of the 12 sets.
Cal Lutheran is now 4-7 on the year with all seven losses coming to top-10 competition. The Kingsmen will get more chances against top competition as they face the No. 1 and No. 2 nationally ranked teams in March.
Against Benedictine, the first set had four ties and two lead changes early on. The Kingsmen had their biggest lead of the set at 11-8, before Benedictine made its move. With CLU up 12-10, BU scored four straight points and took their second lead of the game. With the score tied at 15, the Eagles used a 6-1 run and took a commanding lead at 21-16. Benedictine wouldn't let Cal Lutheran back in the game and took the first set 25-22.
The Kingsmen continued to keep the games close in set two and three, but weren't able to win either set. In the second set, Benedictine used runs of 5-0 and 4-0 to create a cushion. CLU fought back, but the Eagles won the second set 25-22. The third set was tied six times. With the score knotted up at 17, BU scored three straight points to give them the advantage. They kept the lead the rest of the set and won 25-23 and swept the Kingsmen.
The kills were spread throughout the team led by Patrick Rowe with nine. Dasmen Stewart added eight kills, Justin Dietrich and Andrew Reina both had seven and Brendan Ward recorded six. Grant Nelson kept the ball moving to all of his attackers and had 20 assists, while Kelly Jew saw his first action of the season, and recorded nine.
Defensively, Stewart had five total blocks, followed by Dietrich with four and Nick Christy with three. Protecting the back line was Nelson and Rowe with five digs each. Christy tallied four digs and Jew, Eli Moore and Marc Quezada each had three.
The Kinsgmen's next three events are all exhibitions. Cal Lutheran continues on the road and will be at CSU Northridge Friday at 7 p.m.
Box Score: BU 3, CLU 0
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Release by Ryan Jorgenson, Sports Information Director