William Penn Falls to Graceland in Four Sets

Oskaloosa–The Statesmen men’s volleyball team returned to action for the first time in a week, since their program debut, to take on Graceland in Heart of America Athletic Conference action.

WPU (0-2, 0-2 Heart), dropped the match in four sets by scores of 16-25, 25-17, 12-25, 18-25. The squad was outhit by the Yellowjackets (3-2, 1-1 Heart) by a wide margin of .307-.051.

The Statesmen scored the first point of the match courtesy of a thunderous kill off the hand of Ike Papes (Fr., Elwood, Ill., Sports Management) but from there failed to gain any rhythm as they found themselves down 22-11 later in the set before being put away.

Set two was the bright spot for the navy and gold in the setback as they showed glimpses of the potential that this young squad has by storming back to take the set by the score of 25-17. The Statesmen began the set on an 8-4 run courtesy of a pair of kills and a service ace by CJ Rettig (Fr., Sierra Madre, Calif., Wellness and Recreation). Following a big kill from Eli Herro (Fr., Dousman, Wis., Business Management), William Penn forced an attack error which gave them its biggest lead of the match of eight points, 23-15, and went on to win by the margin 25-17.

Sets three and four unfortunately did not go the Statesmen’s way as the Yellowjackets really turned it on and played their best two sets of the night winning by the combined score of 50-30. William Penn was unable to gain a lead in either set.

Despite the setback, Carlos Garcia (Fr., Laredo, Texas, Biology) had his best game in his young career as he tallied 10 kills to the lead the team while hitting at a team-best .300 clip. Papes was next in kills with eight, while Rettig and Hero had a combined 10 with six and four respectively. Herro also added a solo block and four block assists to his credit.

Matt Helmick (Fr., Fullerton, Calif., Business Management) and Connor Muff (So., Kenosha, Wis., Business Management) split time running the offense from the setter position as Helmick led the way with 14 assists and Muff had nine in his Statesmen debut.

Rettig headlined the defensive effort with seven digs while Garcia finished just behind him with six.

“I’ve been telling our guys that this conference is a grind. We found that out again tonight,” Head Coach Luke Bentley said. “I continue to be proud of the fight they show and the effort they put forward. We just need better execution.”

Next Up: William Penn travels to Sioux Center, Iowa Friday to face Dordt in non-conference play at 7 p.m..

Posted by on Jan 29 2020. Filed under College Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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