CHICAGO, Ill. – The Illinois Tech men's volleyball team hosted its first full tri-match of the season, welcoming Fontbonne and Maranatha to the Keating Sports Center on Saturday. Tech swept the afternoon by defeating the Griffins 3-1 and the Sabercats 3-0.
How it Happened – Fontbonne Match
- The first set leaned Fontbonne's way early, as the Griffins jumped out to a 7-3 lead. But Tech rallied quickly and tied the game at 10. From there, the Hawks used Easton Kays' strong serves to get out to a two-point lead before the Griffins called timeout. Tech was strong at the net, recording five total blocks. Soon the lead grew to five at 20-15, which gave the Scarlet Hawks enough momentum to surge to the end and win the set 25-19.
- Fontbonne once again started quickly but Tech matched the effort for the first ten points a side. Then, much like in the first set, Kays propelled the Hawks to a three-point lead before the Griffins called for a timeout. Cinjun Coe served the Scarlet Hawks up to an 18-13 lead, as he had five kills in the second set. Tech led, once again, 20-15 before the Scarlet Hawks took the second set by another 25-19 score.
- Tech resumed the strong play from the first two sets in the beginning of the third. Tech led 7-4 early behind kills from Coe and Lukasz Kupiec—who had five in the third set. The lead grew to five at 12-7 and grew to seven with Coe behind the service line. Fontbonne went on a 4-0 run to close the gap to three before Tech called its first timeout of the match. However, the Griffins attack continued and Tech was unable to set up any attacks while Fontbonne tied the game at 19. The teams traded points down the stretch but the Griffins outlasted the Hawks and surged to a 25-23 set win.
- The Scarlet Hawks forged an early seven-point lead at 10-3 in the fourth set. But Fontbonne came back behind the effort of Steven Lendy, who helped cut the lead to three. Tech clung to a two-point lead and moved slowly towards the end of the set with the Griffins right behind. However the Scarlet Hawks were able to grind to the end and claim a win in the set and match, 25-22.
Scarlet Hawk Standouts – Fontbonne Match
- Coe led the Hawks with 16 kills on a .231 attack percentage. He added two assists, an ace and five digs
- Kupiec had 12 kills plus an assist and eight digs
- Kays added nine kills on a .368 attack percentage with an ace and four digs
- Daniel Throop had a whopping 43 assists plus an ace, seven digs and four block assists
Stats to Know – Fontbonne Match
- Tech led in team blocks (12 to eight)
- Kills were in favor of the Scarlet Hawks 49-42
- Tech also had the advantage in attack percentage .213 to .084
How it Happened – Maranatha Match
- Tech controlled the pace of play to start the match, leading 10-4 behind six team kills and solid serving from Steven Komendanchik. With Daniel Throop behind the service line, Tech extended the lead to eight at 17-9. The Scarlet Hawks finished the set with 13 kills and won handily 25-15.
- Mistakes were prevalent to begin the second set for Illinois Tech, which allowed the Sabercats to remain close. After a 7-7 tie, however, the Scarlet Hawks went on a 7-0 run—once again fueled by Komendanchik's serving. Lukasz Kupiec was dominant in the set, hammering down six kills. The Hawks never relinquished the lead and closed out the set 25-16.
- Both teams exchanged long volleys in the early points of the third set. Maranatha remained persistent and improved the net presence, earning more blocks against the Scarlet Hawks. The game remained close but Tech maintained the small lead until finally breaking away. The Hawks took the set and the match in a sweep by a score of 25-17.
Scarlet Hawk Standouts – Maranatha Match
- Kupiec led the way with 14 kills. He added an ace and three digs
- Coe followed up with 13 kills of his own and 11 digs plus an ace
- Komendanchik was strong all over the court with three service aces and 13 digs
- Evan Robeck added seven kills on a team-leading .429 attack percentage
Stats to Know – Maranatha Match
- The Hawks dominated in terms of kills, tallying 42 to the Sabercats' 18
- Tech led easily in attack percentage (.267 to .033)
- Tech finished with four team blocks; Maranatha had two
- The Scarlet Hawks will travel to Wisconsin on Wednesday to face Marian in Fond Du Lac at 7:00 p.m.