BOSTON — The Cal Lutheran men's volleyball team bounced back from being down 2 sets to 1 and defeated the Wentworth Leopards in five sets, 3-2, on Tuesday night. The scores of the match were 25-19, 21-25, 34-36, 25-13, 15-13.
The Kingsmen are 2-0 on their East Coast trip with three games to come. It was their first five-set match of the year. Previously, they had lost three such games. With the win, Cal Lutheran moved to 11-8. Wentworth is now 14-9.
The Kingsmen scored the first four points of the game and nine of the first 10 as they took the early lead. Patrick Rowe swatted down three kills, Justin Dietrich and Mason Mercer both added one and Andrew Reina served an ace. CLU kept putting up the points and had a 16-5 lead after Dietrich and Dasmen Stewart combined for a block. Wentworth tried to get back in the game, but Cal Lutheran closed the door and claimed the first set, 25-19.
Wentworth bounced back in the second set and won 25-21. The third set was a marathon. After three ties early on, CLU scored five straight points and took an 8-3 lead. The Leopards slowly chipped away at the lead and eventually scored five straight to tie the game at 22. The score remained tied from 22 all the way to 34. Wentworth had the final say as they earned a hard-fought set three win 36-34.
Cal Lutheran was determined to push the match to a fifth set. After the Leopards scored the first two points, the Kingsmen scored nine of the next 10 and were up 9-3. CLU used a 6-0 run later in the set and had a commanding 22-9 lead. The Kingsmen made a statement in the fourth set, winning 25-13 and forced a decisive fifth set.
The fifth set got back to being as close as the first three. With the score knotted up at 10, a kill from Mercer and an error from the Leopards had CLU up. A few plays later, Wentworth cut the lead to one and trailed 14-13. Stewart put the finishing touch on the game as he swatted down the final kill. CLU won the set 15-13 and the match 3-2.
Stewart led the Kingsmen with 10 kills and he added four blocks. Rowe and Dietrich were next with nine kills each while Mercer and Kelly Jew both recorded eight apiece. Rowe had a hitting percentage of .500, Jew hit with a .438 clip and Stewart recorded .316.
Defensively, Dietrich recorded a team-high five blocks while Eli Moore was second on the team with 11 digs and Reina added eight more.
The Kingsmen continue their East Coast swing with No. 2 Springfield and play them on Thursday at 3 p.m. Pacific Standard Time.
Box Score: CLU 3, WIT 2
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Release by Ryan Jorgenson, Sports Information Director