Wittenberg Men’s Volleyball team found a bit of luck on Friday evening after extending their win-streak to four, but quickly fell in the next two games.
The Tigers took down Penn St.-Altoona in three sets behind lead attackers Justin Luby, ‘19, Deion Woodson, ’21 and Isaiah Brock, ‘19. The red and white choked against Marian (Wis.) and #5 Dominican (Ill.), losing both in three sets.
Pam Evans Smith Arena played host to five teams who came to town to participate in the Tiger’s annual Power Weekend. Teams included Marian, Dominican, Penn St.-Altoona, Elmira and #12 Mount St. Joseph.
Wittenberg Men’s Volleyball now holds a record of 5-6 with just over a week before conference action.
Stats were lopsided at the end of the weekend due to a poor performance by the Tigers on Saturday, however, everyone on the bench saw action at least once.
While Ashton Sellers, ’19, is one of the hardest hitters on the team, his accuracy was off the entire weekend, with seven attacks into the net or out of bounds. Brock found trouble too, recording 10 service errors.
Ross Russell, ’19, was a stand-out setter for the weekend, recording 81 assists. Despite being short in stature, the junior was able to get his hands up defensively and block three attacks.
The arena was filled with fans and fellow student-athletes on Friday for the Code Red match-up vs. Penn St.-Altoona, giving the team a boost going into the match.
Luby came off the bench to record 12 kills total, seven of them in the final set. The junior also recorded an ace in the second set. Woodson and Brock averaged three kills per set. Defensively, the red and white was able to block eight attacks by the Lions, two solo and six assisted.
The Tigers’ worst match came on a sluggish Saturday morning. The team had little energy, despite the match-up against the number-five team in the nation.
The red-and-white jerseys were not able to get anything going offensively, only able to record 18 total attacks through their match against the Stars.
Sellers did have his best performance of the weekend against Dominican, recording nine kills on 17 total attacks.
Woodson recorded zero kills and four errors on 11 total attacks, his worst game since Wittenberg hosted Southern Virginia during the Jim Colman Memorial Tournament in mid-January.
The Tigers struggled at first in the Friday night game. While the team was on the floor, their minds had gone home for the night. Communication seemed to lack in both of the weekend’s losses.
While Wittenberg recorded 29 kills in the three-set loss, an average of almost 10 per set, they also averaged about eight attack errors per set. Marian averaged 12 kills per set but also managed to record only four attack errors per set.
Woodson was limited, recording his third-worst offensive game with eight kills and six errors on 22 attempts. Sellers managed six kills and four errors on 16 attempts.
Max Baker, ’19, found some success in the second and third sets, coming off the bench to provide two kills to temporarily boost the Tigers’ confidence. Baker also recorded a solo block defensively.
Wittenberg Men’s Volleyball looks to redeem themselves this weekend as they travel to Penn St.-Behrend, taking on three teams in the Behrend Tournament.
The Tigers will play Penn St.-Behrend a second time, after beating the Lions in four sets, at Hiram on Jan. 27.