|Mount Mercy (Iowa) (14-5)||25||19||28||25||3|
|Augustana College (6-13)||17||25||26||23||1|
|Rock Island, Il|
|Mount Mercy (Iowa)||Indv. Leaders||Augustana College|
|#9 Strahil Svilenski - 10||Kills||#8 Jason Szara - 12|
|#7 Ben Steffen - 6||Blocks||2 Players (#10,#14,#8) - 1|
|2 Players (#13,#15) - 9||Digs||#4 Matthew Schiferl - 19|
|#1 Nikola Stoimenov - 3||Aces||3 Players - 1|
|Mount Mercy (Iowa)||Team Statistics||Augustana College|
ROCK ISLAND, Ill. -- After a week-long hiatus, the Mount Mercy men's volleyball team was back in action against Augustana (Ill.) in a non-conference match on Wednesday night inside the Carver Center. The Mustangs took the match, 3-1 (25-17, 19-25, 28-26, 25-23).
With the win, Mount Mercy snapped a 2-game losing skid. Both losses were to top-5 teams, including No. 1 Grand View and No. 4 St. Ambrose. The Mustangs, who found themselves receiving votes in this week's NAIA top 10 poll, sit in third place in the Heart of America Athletic Conference with an overall mark of 14-5 and 4-3 in league play.
The largest point differential of the match happened in the first set as Mount Mercy won by eight. The Vikings leveled the set at 3-3, but the Mustangs never trailed and led by as many as 10. Three consecutive aces by Nikola Stoimenov and back-to-back kills from Strahil Svilenski gave Mount Mercy breathing room. The Mustangs hit a blistering .471 in the first set, finishing with just one attack error while holding Augustana to a .000 hitting percentage.
Mount Mercy led set number two, 4-3, but four straight points by Augustana gave them the lead once and for all. A kill by Evan Gaskill brought the Mustangs within two at 18-16, but the Vikings finished out the set by taking advantage of five Mount Mercy errors coupled with two kills from Justin Murphy and Andrew Housholder to even the match at one set apiece.
The third set was tight the whole way as the Mustangs and Vikings traded points and neither team led by more than three. Mount Mercy had two chances to win the set in regulation, but couldn't get the job done. After facing a set point themselves, the Mustangs got two timely blocks from Ben Steffen and Jaime Araiza followed by a huge solo block from Steffen to take the set.
Augustana (6-13) controlled much of the fourth set and seemed to have the momentum to carry them into a deciding fifth set. The Vikings' largest lead was 17-12, but the Mustangs had an answer. Through the first three sets, Augustana was averaging 6.6 errors per set, but in the fourth they committed 11, six of which came during the final 18 serves. For the second set in a row, Mount Mercy ended the game -- and this time the match -- with a block from Cole Spitler and Svilenski.
Seven Mustangs recorded kills on 41 Andrew Colantone assists, led by Svilenski with 10 kills and a .600 hitting percentage. Steffen and Spitler added nine kills apiece. Gaskill finished with seven kills and nine digs. Steffen led Mount Mercy with two solo blocks and four block assists.
Mount Mercy hosts their second triangular of the season on Saturday against a pair of teams ranked in the NAIA poll. The Mustangs host third-ranked Briar Cliff (9-2) at 1:00 p.m. and 10th-ranked Robert Morris (Ill.) (17-7) at 5:00 p.m. In between, the Chargers and Eagles square off at 3:00 p.m. at Hennessey Recreation Center.