WPU Succumbs to Missouri Baptist in Five

Oskaloosa–The William Penn men’s volleyball team could not put away #13 Missouri Baptist Friday, falling 3-2 in Heart of America Athletic Conference action.

The fifth-ranked Statesmen (1-4, 0-2 Heart) lost by scores of 28-26, 25-22, 23-25, 25-17, 15-13. The hosts held a .279-.254 hitting clip, but committed seven more service errors (21-14) than the Spartans (3-2, 2-1 Heart). Both sides tallied seven aces in the match.

The opening set was a seesaw affair with neither team holding a lead larger than three points. Down 13-10, the navy and gold took a timeout and it paid dividends with three unanswered to knot the score. Again on the bottom side of the tally at 17-16, WPU responded with four in a row.

The Statesmen eventually owned set point at 24-21, but MBU stayed alive with three in a row. WPU never relinquished the lead, however, and kills by Ike Papes (Sr., Elwood, Ill., Business Management) and Eli Herro (Sr., Dousman, Wis., Business Management) closed it out.

The second round was a near mirror image of the first as the combatants were evenly matched. William Penn faced a three-point deficit at 14-11, but rattled off three straight. The home squad stayed right with Missouri Baptist over the next few points, but at 22-22, the Statesmen pulled away. CJ Rettig (Sr., Sierra Madre, Calif., Physical Education) recorded a kill and Devyn Zavala (Jr., Long Beach, Calif.) came off the bench with back-to-back aces. The junior finished with a team-best three aces on the evening.

Looking for the sweep, WPU was in control early in the third set, claiming a 6-3 lead. The Spartans unfortunately battled back and put the Statesmen on their heels with a 14-11 edge, only to see the hosts tie the round at 15-15. Corresponding runs eventually brought the teams even again at 22-22, while a Papes kill moved the navy and gold within two points of the sweep. Unfortunately, the visitors finished strong with three unanswered and were able to force a fourth set.

Missouri Baptist took the momentum from its win into the fourth and never trailed en route to tying the match at 2-2.

Herro tallied a kill to start the fifth and final set, but MBU recorded three straight and rolled out to a 7-4 advantage. Three consecutive errors opened the door for the Statesmen, though, and they remained in step with the Spartans the rest of the way. Tied one final time at 13-13, William Penn unfortunately fell victim at the service line with an error of its own and a match-clinching ace by MBU.

Papes had one of the best performances of his career, tallying 25 kills on a .457 attack clip. Herro, with 11 kills (.417), and Charlie Figy (Jr., Appleton, Wis., Sports Management), with seven kills (team-high .538), were also productive offensively.

Matt Helmick (Jr., Fullerton, Calif., Business Management) dished out 50 assists, while Rettig topped the back-row defense with nine digs in addition to five kills. Figy headlined the net defenders with five blocks assists. Five different Statesmen had a part in at least two blocks as William Penn held a 9-6 edge in blocks.

Next Up: William Penn remains in Oskaloosa Saturday, hosting Health Sciences and Pharmacy in Heart play at 11 a.m.

Posted by on Feb 4 2023. 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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