No. 1 Nazareth defeats No. 10 Vassar, Lancaster Bible to remain unbeaten
POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. -- Top-ranked Nazareth improved to 30-0 with victories against Lancaster Bible in three sets and host Vassar in four sets. The scores against the Lancaster Bible Chargers were 25-19, 25-20, 25-14. The Golden Flyers defeated No. 10 Vassar by scores of 25-23, 20-25, 25-22, 25-22.
The Chargers fell to 12-12 overall and the Brewers slipped to 18-9 overall with their respective losses to Nazareth. The Golden Flyers close the regular season on Saturday at the second day of the Vassar Invitational.
Against the Chargers, Nazareth took control of the match in the first set, recording 15 kills and committing only four errors for a .407 attack percentage. Nazareth's defense held the Chargers to eight kills and five errors in the set. In the final two sets, the Golden Flyers allowed Lancaster Bible to convert only 10 total kills and forced Lancaster Bible into 16 total attack errors.
Sophomore Luke Lawatsch finished the contest with a match-high four assisted blocks to stymie the Chargers' attack. Freshman Cory Randolph also contributed a team-high eight digs. Nazareth did not allow any Lancaster Bible player to amass more than four kills.
Lawatsch also tallied a match-high seven kills to lead the offensive attack. Freshman Bobby Beeman recorded six kills while senior Robert Kraft, sophomore Brody Cord and freshman Tim Zyburt each added four kills. Thirteen different players recorded kills for Nazareth's potent attack. Senior Connor Ecklund had a match-high 17 assists, and senior EJ Wells-Spicer finished with 11 assists.
Against Vassar, the Golden Flyers received a team-high 15 kills from Zyburt and 14 kills apiece from Kraft and freshman Grant Levermore. Lawatsch chipped in an additional nine kills. Wells-Spicer amassed a match-high 51 assists as Nazareth's primary setter.
Defensively, Lawatsch continued to demonstrate his presence at the net as he was a part of eight blocks. Zyburt was also involved in five blocks. Wells-Spicer and senior Dan Mowery finished with nine digs and eight digs, respectively, to thwart the Brewers' scoring attempts and set up the Golden Flyers' attack.
In the decisive fourth set, neither team was able to stretch a lead to more than two points until the Golden Flyers took a 23-20 lead following three consecutive points. Levermore had two kills sandwiched around a Vassar hitting error during the short scoring run. Senior Alex Houghtalen secured the victory with a kill moments later.
The Golden Flyers finished with higher attack percentages in each set they won. Nazareth had a .091 to -.029 advantage in the first set as each team had nine attack errors. In the third set, the Golden Flyers finished with a .303 to .130 advantage. In the fourth set, Nazareth amassed 18 kills and four errors for a .412 percentage. The Brewers had 11 kills and two errors for a .310 percentage.
In the second set, Nazareth was held to a .138 hitting percentage while Vassar recorded a .379 percentage on 16 kills and five errors. The Golden Flyers overcame 20 service errors during the match to defeat the Brewers.