THOUSAND OAKS, Calif.— Patrick Rowe tallied 16 kills, Justin Dietrich added 10, with a hitting percentage of .625, and the Cal Lutheran men's volleyball team defeated Marymount (Va.) 3-1 on Wednesday afternoon. The scores of the match were 25-19, 25-14, 16-25, 27-25.
It was the season opener for both teams. The Kingsmen improved to 2-0 against the Saints in the all-time series, as the teams also met last year.
The seniors took the well-earned match as Rowe was one kill shy of his career-high and also led the team with three aces. Dietrich recorded his 10 kills in just 16 attacks and had zero errors.
Freshman setter Blake Zingerman made his collegiate debut and got his first start. He showed off an all-around game with 38 assists, five digs, and one kill, ace and block.
Zingerman's passing ability got senior Nick Christy and sophomore Connor Hinthron also in the mix as the duo both swatted down seven kills each. Christy added a team-high four blocks while Hinthorn had the second most digs on the team with six.
The defense looked equally impressive as eight Kingsmen tallied at least two digs. Sophomore libero Eli Moore led the way with seven, Hinthorn was next with his six and senior Kelly Jew matched Zingerman with five.
The game was mostly even statistically, but the Saints did outhit the Kingsmen with a percentage of .312 to .267. The biggest difference in the match was serving as CLU recorded six aces to Marymount's one.
With the Kingsmen up 9-8 in the first set, a service error from the Saints, a kill from Hinthorn and an ace from Rowe gave Cal Lutheran some breathing room. The teams exchanged points the rest of the way before Christy clinched the first set with a kill (25-19).
CLU used that momentum in the second set and took a quick 4-1 lead as Dietich tallied two kills and a block while Christy added a kill. The Kingsmen doubled up the Saints halfway through, scoring four straight points, and took a 16-8 lead. Christy, Jew and Rowe each tallied a kill during the run. Cal Lutheran kept the pressure on and took the second set (25-14). The Saints returned the favor in the third set (16-25) and cut the match-lead in half at 2-1.
Both teams were rolling in the fourth as the score was tied eight times with neither team leading by more than three points. Cal Lutheran took the lead almost midway through at 11-8, but Marymount fired back and tied the match at 11. With the score tied at 13, CLU scored four of the next five points and took a 17-14 lead. Rowe swatted down two kills and Christy added one more.
The Saints continued to keep it close and eventually tied the set at 24. With the score then tied at 25, Dietrich put CLU up one with a kill and an attacking error from Marymount gave CLU the set win (27-25) and the Kingsmen took the match 3-1.
Cal Lutheran will be on the road for the next four games and travel to Santa Cruz, Calif., for UC Santa Cruz's Slug Slam. The Kingsmen open the tournament Friday with Lakeland at 3 p.m. and Santa Cruz at 5:30.
Box Score: CLU 3, MU 1
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Release by Ryan Jorgenson, Sports Information Director