ATHERTON, Calif. -- The Siena Heights men's volleyball team split matches on the final day in California as the Saints won 3-2 over Hope International before falling in straight sets to No. 7 Menlo in the second match. Bryce Johnson (Pickerington, Ohio) continued to lead the Saints attack with 18 kills in the first match and a team-high seven in the second.
Final Scores: Siena Heights def. Hope International, 3-2 (24-26, 19-25, 33-31, 25-23, 15-11) / #7 Menlo def. Siena Heights, 3-0 (25-19, 25-18, 25-10)
Location: Atherton, California
Record: Siena Heights (3-5)
HOW IT HAPPENED
SHU def. Hope International, 3-2
The Royals jumped out to a 3-0 lead but the Saints rallied and eventually tied the score at 10. An attack error by Hope International gave Siena its first lead of the match 11-10 but the Royals used a 3-0 run to quickly regain the lead 13-11. Johnson tallied a kill that sparked a 5-0 run and gave the Saints a 19-16 lead. The run also included a service ace by Jakob Pickett (Carmel, Ind.). A service error by Siena ignited a 3-0 run by the Royals and knotted things up at 19. The teams traded points to a 20-20 deadlock. A point by HIU forced a Siena timeout before Shevin Blades (Bridgetown, Barbados) buried the ball to tie things at 21. A 3-0 rally by the Royals put them at set point (24-21), but Marc Arsenault (Plainfield, Ill.) would register a kill at the top of a SHU 3-0 run to force extra points. A kill by the Royals and a Saint attack error gave Hope International a 1-0 lead following a 26-24 decision.
HIU hopped out to a 7-3 lead to start the second set. Siena Heights would cut the deficit to 12-11, but three runs of 3-0 by the Royals gave them the 22-15 lead. Hope International pulled out a 25-19 win in set two despite the Saints scoring five of the last eight points to take the 2-0 lead.
The Royals used a 6-0 run to pull ahead 9-4 in the third set, but SHU would rally with a 4-0 run later to cut the HIU lead to 10-9. Another 3-0 run by Siena tied the score at 13. The Royals scored points in couples on the way to a 22-16 advantage, but the Saints would not go away quietly as they rattled off three-straight scores to pull within two points. The score would get tied at 23 with a 3-0 run sparked by a kill by Arsenault. SHU earned a set point on a bad set but would retie the game at 25 with a service error. A kill by HIU gave the team set point, but Johnson banged a kill home to put the score at 26 all. Each team continued to trade the setpoint advantage all the way up to a 31-31 draw. A kill by Johnson and an HIU attack error finally ended the set and put the Saints on the board.
Hope International held the lead for much of the fourth set even using a 4-0 run to build a 16-11 lead. A 7-0 run by the Saints gave them their first lead of the set before the closed it out with a 25-23 advantage to force a decisive fifth set.
With the score in the fifth tied at six, Keegan Crawford (Columbus, Ohio) earned a kill that ignited a 4-0 run for Siena that put the Saints up 10-6 and forced a timeout by the Royals. HIU scored twice out of the break, but SHU kept the pressure on and pulled out a 15-11 win to take the match 3-2.
#7 Menlo def. Siena Heights, 3-0
The Oaks jumped out to a lead in all three sets on the way to the shutout victory. However, the Saints kept things close in the first two sets, never trailing by double-digits in either of those outings. The first double-digit lead of the match came in the third when Menlo used a 5-0 run to go ahead 16-6 on the way to a 25-10 final score to take the match in three. The Oaks defense was too much for the Saints as Siena Heights never had more than eight kills in any of the three sets. The Saints also did not surrender many points and finished with a positive hitting percentage in all three games.
• Johnson finished with 25 kills and 17 digs on the day for the Saints.
• Crawford paced the SHU attack with 46 assists in match one and 18 in match two.
• Arsenault finished with 13 kills (.219) in the win.
• Kevin Gomez (La Estrella, Colombia) totaled 11 kills (.292) and nine digs against Hope International to help the Saints to a win.
• Blades finished the day with 12 kills and 10 blocks.
• HIU: Joshua Nehls, 31 kills; Reid Harrison, 63 assists; Bradyn Hipa, 14 digs; Dylan Haskell, 7 blocks.
• Menlo: Edin Ibrahimovic, 13 kills; Shea Filardo, 39 assists; Akash Dhothar & Ibrahimovic, 6 digs; Filardo, 3 blocks.
The Saints return home to host Aquinas in the first Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference match of the season. The match is scheduled for a 7:30 p.m., EST opening serve.