Trine Men's Volleyball Sweeps Wittenberg in Final Regular-Season Matches
By: Jeffrey Hoedt - Monday, March 29, 2021

ANGOLA, IN - The Trine University men's volleyball team wrapped up the regular season with a pair of match victories against Wittenberg University, 3-0 and 3-0, in Midwest Collegiate Volleyball League action at Hershey Hall on senior day.

The Thunder defeated the Tigers in the first match by the scores of 25-23, 25-17 and 25-18. Sophomore Parker Beale led all players in kills with 19. Senior Hunter Monday set up the offense with a match-high 43 assists and Beale also had a team-high two service aces.

Freshman Hunter Haas tallied a match-high 15 digs and the duo of freshman Matt Stillman and junior Kyle Dixon both had a total of four blocks. Stillman had four block assists, while Dixon had one solo block and three assists.

The two teams played a close first set with neither squad leading by more than three points. Wittenberg (2-15, 1-15 MCVL) led 15-12 when a kill by Trine sophomore Dominic Saenz began a 6-1 scoring run that put the Thunder ahead for good. Trine (11-5, 11-5 MCVL) moved into "set point" following back-to-back kills by Beale and Dixon that made the score 24-21. The Tigers fought off two set points to make it a 24-23 game, but then junior Eric Santiago-Garcia tallied the winning point on a kill sealing the 25-23 final.

Set number two saw Trine pull away while maintaining a one-point edge, 4-3, with a string of four unanswered points to go up, 8-3. The Thunder later led by as many as eight points in the game, including a 24-16 margin following a kill by Beale. After a Trine service error prolonged the set for Wittenberg, freshman Landon Barrow came up with the winning kill to send the home team to a 25-17 win and a 2-0 match lead.

The third set started out with Wittenberg leading by a point, 5-4, before five straight points for Trine put the Thunder out in front by four, 9-5, and stayed in the lead the rest of the way. Trine led by four points late, 22-18, when a pair of kills by Beale and freshman Tod Hofmesiter separated by an ace by Beale, sealed the victory for Trine in the set and the match sweep by a final of 3-0.

The final match of the afternoon saw Trine defeat Wittenberg by the scores of 25-21, 25-22 and 25-17. The first two sets featured a pair of close games with the difference in set one being a 4-0 run by Trine with the Tigers leading, 11-10, that then made it a 14-11 contest in favor of the home team. The Thunder never trailed in the set again, but the Tigers would pull to within a couple of points late in the game, 20-18, before a kill by Monday, followed by three straight Wittenberg errors put the Thunder ahead by six points, 24-18. The Tigers fought off three straight "set points" before another offensive error by Wittenberg ended the set with Trine coming out ahead, 25-21.

Trine jumped out to a 7-2 lead to start the second set that included a pair of kills by both Beale and Hofmesiter. Wittenberg later rallied to even the score at 11-11 when kills by Stillman, Beale and then an ace by Stillman, gave Trine some breathing room by a 14-11 margin. The Tigers later made it a two-point game, 20-18, but that's as close as they got the remainder of the set as the Thunder increased the lead to four points, 24-20, and claimed victory on a Beale kill en route to the 25-22 final.

The third set saw Trine lead, 4-1, early and increased that margin to seven points, 14-7, following a kill by Hofmesiter to post its largest advantage of the game to that point. Wittenberg looked to mount a rally and pulled to within three points, 15-12, until three straight Thunder points extended the Trine lead to a more comfortable six points, 18-12, and weren't threatened the rest of the way. A kill by freshman Nick Woolley gave Trine the win and its largest lead of the game with a final score of 25-17 and also gave the home team the overall match, 3-0.

Beale led the Trine offense with 15 kills and junior Dan Boren was second with eight kills. Monday again led all players in assists with 31 and was one of three players to record an ace.

Haas recorded his second straight match in double figures in digs with 14 and Stillman led the Thunder at the net in blocks with two (two assists).

FOR MORE INFORMATION, please contact Trine University Sports Information Director Jeff Hoedt by phone at (260) 665-4122 or by email at hoedtj@trine.edu.