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volleyball-men-d3 flag | February 23, 2014

DIII: Kean takes down No. 2 Rivier, No. 5 Nazareth

NEW YORK -- Kean had a fantastic day in on Saturday; the Cougars knocked off No. 5 Nazareth in dominant fashion and then took down No. 2 Rivier in an epic five-set duel.

Junior Bez Arslani set a school record with a .676 hitting percentage in the match against the second-ranked Raiders. His 27 kills were one shy of the single-match school-record as well. He was named to the Baruch Invitational All-Tournament Team after racking up 39 kills in the two matches and swinging to the tune of .569 against some of the best competition in the country.

In their first match against Nazareth, the Cougars (9-6) won a tight set in the first 28-26, but then won the next two sets rather convincingly by identical 25-17 margins. Arslani led the way with 12 kills, but Kean setter Ron Dunn (33 assists) was able to spread the offense around. John Cunningham hand nine play enders, Ed Jedziniak had eight and Kyle Farley and Tommy Rosario had four apiece.

The Rivier match was the main story, however. Arslani went off, as he swung 37 times and made just two errors. His 27 kills in that match gave him a .676 hitting percentage; both of those marks are the best of any Cougar this season.

The Raiders took the first set by four, but again the Cougars came back and won the next two sets with relative ease. Kean kept feeding Arslani, who was the only hitter on either team to post a hitting percentage more than .300 in more than 10 attempts.

Michael Fox deserves credit for his 17 digs in the match, and Jon Bowser came through with a pair of aces for the Cougars. Dunn's 55 assists are also the second-highest single-match total in Kean history.

In the fourth set, Kean fell in potentially heartbreaking fashion 29-27, but rather than shrinking from the moment the Cougars rallied for a 15-12 victory in the fifth and final set to clinch the upset and seal perhaps the most impressive single-day result in the program's short history.

Rivier fell to 9-3, and Naz is now 7-5.

No. 13 Stevens Institute 3, No. 2 Rivier 1

NEW YORK -- Stevens Institute took down No. 2 Rivier on Saturday Rivier in four sets 25-21, 25-19, 23-25, 25-22, to cap off a perfect weekend. In the biggest victory of the season thus far for Stevens, Gabe Shankweiler hit at a .370 clip with a match-high 22 kills. He also added four digs, an ace and a block.

Chris Vaughan hit .400 with 14 kills on 25 swings to go along with nine digs, two aces and two blocks, while Daniel Smith recorded nine kills and a .333 hitting percentage with three blocks.

Kevin Aeckerle handed out a match-best 49 assists, while Carpenter chipped in five kills (.333 percent) and five total blocks.

Eddins concluded his day with seven more kills, three blocks and two assists. Dylan Schlosser added six digs.

Stevens hit .357 in the match and never hit below .379 in its three set wins. The Ducks also recorded 8.5 more blocks as a team.

No. 3 Juniata 3, Marymount (Va.) 0
No. 3 Juniata 3, Hilbert 0

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Juniata finished out its weekend flawless, sweeping both Marymount (Va.) and Hilbert in straight sets Saturday afternoon in the Kennedy Sports+Recreation Center. Juniata improved to 13-2 overall and 2-0 in the Continental Volleyball Conference (CVC).

The Eagles hit more than .430 as a team on the day with 78 kills. They also finished with 15 services aces and 17 blocks. A big performance behind the service line came from senior Ross Madden. The 6-5 outside hitter earned a match and career-best seven service aces against Hilbert.

Five Eagles hit better than .500 individually, their efforts helped by sophomores Carlos Faccio and Ryan Shelton who ran the offense. Both netted career-highs, Shelton with 34 assists against Marymount and Faccio's 28 assists in the win against Hilbert.

Leading the attack was fellow sophomore Matthew Kinnebrew. He finished the day with 17 kills under his belt. Freshmen Tommy Keisling and Kyle Seeley also earned double-digit kills on the day. Keisling put down 10 kills and Seeley hit an amazing .733 with 12 kills and only one error, respectively. Seeley also grabbed a team-best nine blocks across the two matches.

Concordia (Calif.) 3, No. 4 Springfield 0

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Springfield dropped a three-set decision to visiting Concordia (Calif.) in the championship match of the 2014 Volleyball Hall of Fame Morgan Classic on Saturday night in Blake Arena. The Eagles won by the set scores of 25-18, 25-22, 25-15.

Springfield was paced by a pair of All-Tournament team selections as Jimmy O'Leary had an especially strong match in the middle for the Pride, totaling 11 kills at a .714 clip to go along with four blocks, while Nick Ferry posted a match-high 10 digs. Angel Perez added seven kills.

Naseri Tumanuvao was named the MVP of the weekend and was dominant in the championship, pounding out 15 kills on a .667 hitting percentage. The Eagles had two other All-Tournament team honors as Kevin Fiske ran the offense to a .436 hitting percentage with 34 assists, and Mark Metrakos notched six kills, five blocks, and three aces. Harrison Carroll registered 10 kills as well for Concordia in the win.

Princeton 3, No. 6 UC Santa Cruz 0

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Fourteen kills from junior outside hitter Cody Kessel paced the Tigers, as Princeton coasted to a 3-0 victory against the UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs on Saturday night at Blake Arena as part of the 2014 Volleyball Hall of Fame William Morgan Classic.

Princeton won by the scores of 25-13, 26-24, 25-15. With the win, the Tigers improve to 2-6 on the season, while the Banana Slugs fall to 7-8 overall.

Along with Kessel, sophomore outside hitter Devin Stearns tallied eight kills on 15 attempts to hit at a .467 clip. Senior outside hitter Pat Schwagler and freshman middle blocker Junior Oboh both registered six kills on the evening, with Schwagler posting seven digs. Senior setter Davis Waddell posted 35 assists in the victory.

For the Banana Slugs, sophomore outside hitter Dan Kennedy and freshman middle blocker Thomas Hassenbein both tallied six kills.

No. 7 Baruch 3, No. 5 Nazareth 0

NEW YORK -- Fifth-ranked Nazareth closed ITS matches at the Baruch Invitational with a pair of losses on Saturday. The Golden Flyers fell to seventh-ranked Baruch in three sets by the scores of 25-18, 26-24, 25-21, then were swept by Kean by the scores of 28-26, 25-17, 25-17.

Against Baruch, sophomores Grant Levermore and Tim Zyburt recorded nine kills and eight kills, respectively, for the Golden Flyers' attack. Classmate Chris Mahan and junior Brody Cord each added five additional kills. Junior Nick McDonagh tallied 21 assists to organize Nazareth's offense.

Defensively, junior Luke Lawatsch had a team-high five digs and also had a solo block. McDonagh and sophomore Bobby Beeman combined for seven additional digs while Zyburt had Nazareth's second solo block.

Jack McKee amassed a match-high 14 kills for Baruch's attack. McKee had only two hitting errors for a .429 hitting percentage. Brady Ambro added 10 more kills. Scott Standring totaled 33 assists and Brendan Murphy recorded 14 digs.

Nazareth recorded hitting percentages of .000, .314, and . 241 in the three sets while Baruch had hitting percentages of .154, .500, and .462.

No. 10 MIT 3, Vassar 0

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- In a tight United Volleyball Conference (UVC) match, MIT emerged with a 28-26, 25-21, 25-22 victory against Vassar on Saturday afternoon. The No. 10 Engineers improved to 11-2 on the year and 5-1 in conference action while the Brewers saw their ledger lower to 3-9 overall and 1-5 in the UVC.

Bradley Gross paced the Engineers' balanced attack by connecting on eight of his nine hitting attempts for a percentage of .809 while posting four blocks. Freshman Martin Krasuski also recorded eight kills and added two blocks as Kenny Siebert totaled seven digs, six kills, two blocks, and MIT's only ace. Junior Alex Klein and Andrew Busse both registered six kills while Klein chipped in three blocks. Paul Syta compiled 32 assists, seven kills, five digs, and two blocks as senior Evan Wang distributed nine assists.

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