Warwick, RI- This past weekend the Men’s Club Volleyball team took to the road and traveled to the Community College of Rhode Island to finish off their regular season with 4 final matches. They took on University of Maine, Brandeis, University of Rhode Island and Community College of Rhode Island. All were tough matchups coming in and were made tougher as the Pioneers were missing two of their key players going into the day.
To start the day off, SHU took on University of Maine. The two-hour drive did not treat the Pioneers well as they lost this one in straight sets 25-17, 25-17. Despite the loss, there were some standout players. Sophomore Dan Hack lead the front line with multiple blocks, while Senior Dan Ward led the team in assists. A lot of the issues for the Pioneers were self-inflicted as they hit the ball out of play multiple times, committed multiple service errors and looked off their game from the very beginning. The loss was the Pioneers’ first of the season.
Despite the loss, though, SHU was able to get back up and make up for it in their very next game. The Pios took on Brandeis and were dominant from the beginning. In the first set SHU took the lead and didn’t look back. They got themselves in trouble towards the end of the game, unable to close things out before extra points, but thanks to help from outside hitters Eric Peper and Jair Davis, SHU was able to pull set 1 out 28-26. The second set was close, but a little easier as the Pioneers had contributions from multiple different people, including Fernando Pires who had a few service aces to pull away from Brandeis. The Pios would win the set 25-23 and the match 2-0 to get back to winning ways and improve to 5-1 on the season.
Next, came their most difficult match of the season, University of Rhode Island (URI). URI has a prominent Division 1 Club team and now have a very talented Division 2 club team, as well. The start to this one was rough as the Pioneers had no answers for the quick Rams’ attack. The first set ended 25-15, but SHU did not give up there. With a few changes to the lineup, the Pioneers were able to figure out the Rams’ offense and start causing them problems. Great hitting about from Eric Peper and Jair Davis, as well as, great passing from Libero Logan Geibner led the Pioneers to a close 25-21 victory, forcing a 3rd set. This one was back and forth as neither team really gained momentum until the very end when the Rams rattled off two points from 13-13 to win the final set 15-13 and the match 2-1. A disappointing loss, but a great effort, nonetheless, from the Pioneers.
The final game of the day was against Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) and really tested the Pioneers endurance. With only 8 players available to play and not many breaks, the Pioneers were gassed going into this one and it showed. Multiple avoidable errors and tough breaks led to an unconquerable deficit in both games as the Pioneers fell 25-21, 25-18 in straight sets.
Despite a disappointing 1-3 on the day, the Pioneers still qualified for championships and will travel to New Hampshire in two weeks for a shot at the championship once again.