Greenville, Pa. - Fontbonne University men's volleyball split two five-set matches as they concluded their first two doubleheaders of the season. The Griffins defeated Thiel College 25-16, 32-34, 25-23, 21-25 and 15-13 before falling to Medaille College 24-26, 25-20, 27-35, 14-25, 13-15. The Griffins are now 3-1 on the season as they prepare for their home-opening weekend. Fontbonne will host conference opponents Loras College at 1 p.m. on Saturday, January 28th followed by Benedictine College of Illinois on Sunday. Loras and Fontbonne square off in one of the first divisional matchups of the year for the Midwest Collegiate Volleyball League.
After winning the first set of Thiel's season opener, Fontbonne led 24-21 in round two until Thiel crawled back adn the two went neck and neck. Brendon Schwartze's kill gave Fontbonne a 32-31 lead until Thiel closed out the set with three straight points. After holding off Thiel in the third set, the hosts trailed 17-10 until they went on an 11-2 run later to force the fifth set. The fifth set saw eight ties. Fontbonne trailed 12-11 but scored four of the next five points to ensure their third consecutive victory.
Junior Stephen Lendy led the Griffin with 18 kills while Schwartze finished with 14. Freshman Kyler van Rossum-O'Connell recorded 38 assists and a team-high 16 digs. Two other Griffins finished with double-digit digs including Lendy (13) and Zach Rothstein (11).
In their second neutral-site match of the season and final game of the weekend, the Griffins led 2-1 after three sets but strayed in the fourth set, only securing 14 points before barely being edged by Medaille in the fifth set. To give them the 2-1 advantage, Fontbonne trailed by seven points before securing the 27-25 victory.
Medaille tallied 80 kills in their season opener with Calvin Crosby totaling 31. Schwartze led Fontbonne with 13 kills while Lendy notched 12 and Rothstein recorded 10 digs. Fontbonne earned 25 points from their opponents' service errors while recording 47 kills.
Lendy finished the day with 30 kills and an average of three kills per set as Schwartze finished right behind him with 27 kills. TJ Vorva added16 kills while van Rossum-O'Connell tallied 58 assists and 20 digs. Libero Rothstein edged his setter by tallying 21 digs. Schwartze and Vorva both totaled five blocks while Emir Hadzisalihovic and Tony Pitaro had one solo block apiece. The Griffins averaged a .211 kill percentage over the 10 sets.