DALLAS, PA. – Closing out their first weekend of intercollegiate competition, the Hiram College men's volleyball team split a pair of games at the Cougar Invite, hosted by Misericordia University on Saturday.
The Terriers first won their third-straight match of the season, outlasting the host Cougars in five sets. Hiram would then fall for the first time in 2018, dropping a three-set decision to Penn State – Altoona.
In the matchup with Misericordia, the two teams would need the fifth set to decide a winner, with the Cougars taking sets one (27-25) and four (25-17), while the Terriers earned set wins in two (28-26) and three (25-22).
Already trailing by one set, and finding themselves down 24-21 in set number two, Hiram turned the tide of the match, getting back-to-back blocks and a kill from Alex Andrzejewski to knot the game at 24-24. Craig Capwell was involved with both defensive stops in the run, picking up two of his six blocks.
Hiram then fought off set point twice, before making a three-point run to take set two. Following a pair of miscues by the Cougars, Justin English gave Hiram the win with a kill to make the score 28-26.
Holding Misericordia to a .034 hitting percentage in the third set, the Terriers took the lead with a 25-22 set victory.
Hiram led by as many as five in the game (17-12), before a 9-2 run by the hosts pushed the Cougars ahead, 21-19. The Terriers would once again respond, tallying six of the game's last seven points to snag a 2-1 lead. Cory Fischer tallied a pair of kills in the run, before the game was finished off by Andrew Gard.
Following a 25-17 loss in the fourth set, the Terriers looked to rebound in the decisive fifth. Getting a trio of kills from Fischer, as well as another by Andrzejewski, Hiram took a three point advantage (9-6) and never trailed again.
Fischer tallied four kills in the final set, including the match-winner. He finished the match as the first Terrier in program history to record double-digit kills. He tallied 12 while hitting .214 and adding six digs. Gard posted nine kills in the win, while Andrzejewski added eight and Colton DeForest, seven.
As a team, Hiram tallied 15 total blocks, led by six from Capwell. Gard added four, including two solo, while Rock also finished with a pair of solo blocks.
Hiram finished the four-match weekend against reigning NEAC Champion, Penn State-Altoona, falling to the Lions in straight sets. The Terriers were not the only team to get swept by the Lions on the weekend. In fact, PSU-Altoona had not dropped a set in any match so far.
Andrzejewski and Fischer paced the Hiram offense in the loss, totaling 19 of the team's 26 kills. Fischer broke double-digits for the second-straight match, posting 10, while Andrzejewski added nine. Jake Lininger finished with 16 assists, while DeForest led the defense with eight digs.
For his efforts over the four-game weekend, Andrzejewski was named to the All-Tournament team. He finished the weekend with a team-best 29 kills while adding 15 digs in 12 total sets.
After a successful opening on the road, Hiram will take their turn at hosting a tournament weekend on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 26 and 27. The Terriers will take on Penn State-Behrend, St. John Fisher and Wittenberg University, in a six-game weekend that begins at 6 p.m. Friday evening.