SPRINGFIELD, Ohio – The Hiram College men's volleyball team dropped a pair of matches during a tri-match at Wittenberg University on Saturday. Despite erasing a two-set deficit, Hiram fell 3-2 to Fontbonne in the opening match. They then dropped a straight-set decision to the host Tigers.
In the loss to the Griffins, the Terriers fell 25-16 and 25-22 in the opening two sets, before staving off defeat in the next two games.
With the third set knotted at 18-18, Hiram found themselves with their backs against the wall. The resilient Terriers responded with three-straight points, including a block by Justin English and Andrew Gard, to take a 21-18 lead.
Fontbonne was able to respond in the late stages of the set, knotting the game at 24-24 and forcing extra points.
With the set tied at 26-26, a service error by the Griffins set the Terriers up with set point. Freshman Cory Fischer then put the game away with a kill, pulling Hiram one set closer, 28-26.
In the fourth set, Hiram once again found themselves behind the eight ball, trailing 19-14. The Terriers again responded, putting together a 6-1 run to knot the set at 20-20.
Gard was once again the main catalyst for the run, putting down three kills while coming away with a block. His third kill in the run tied the set.
Another kill by Gard once again knotted the score at 22-22, before English gave the Terriers a one-point lead. After tying things up again, Fontbonne was forced into a pair of hitting errors, and Hiram pulled even at two sets, each.
In the fifth set, the Terriers seemed to run out of gas, as Hiram never led in the decisive game. The Terriers closed the gap to one (11-10), before Fontbonne ended the match on a four-point run.
Offensively, three Terriers finished with double-digit kills, led by Gard who posted 13 while hitting .423. Fischer tallied a team-best 13, while Alex Andrzejewski added 13. English finished with eight while leading the roster with a career-high 22 digs.
Defensively, four different players tallied double-digit digs. Along with English, Andrzejewski (12) and Fischer (11) each finished with a double-double. Freshman Colton DeForest also added 15.
After the hard-fought, five-set marathon, the Terriers had a tough time getting the energy going, dropping a three-set decision to Wittenberg in their last match of the day.
The Tigers took the match by scores of 25-9, 25-16, 25-20, as Hiram hit just .055.
Andrzejewski and Fischer each tallied eight kills to lead the offensive effort, while Brennan Walentschak added 15 assists. Andrzejewski also added nine digs on the day, while Gard posted three more blocks to finish the day with six.
Hiram will be back in action on Friday, March 9 as they travel to Michigan for a tri-match with Olivet and Siena Heights. Action is slated for a 4 p.m. start.