PLYMOUTH, Wis.—The Fontbonne University men's volleyball team dropped its first outing in 2018 against Lakeland on Saturday in four sets (22-25, 20-25, 27-25, 21-25).
The Griffins (4-1), compiled a season-high 55 kills, 52 assists and 61 digs, however, the team committed 25 errors for a .197 hitting percentage.
Individually, Stephen Lendy posted a season-high 15 kills and 10 digs. Brendon Schwartze had another strong game with 14 kills and .250 hitting percentage, while Emir Hadzisalihovic added a season-high 10 kills and a team-high .333 hitting percentage.
Lakeland (2-5), meanwhile, finished with 60 kills, a .267 hitting percentage and 64 digs. Offensively, Jarrod Verhamme led with a match-high 21 kills and three errors for .474 hitting percentage.
Dakota Hunter overcame his 11 errors with 19 kills and finished second on the team in digs (14). Addison Mertler handed out a match-high 52 assists, while J.T. Levitt earned a match-high 19 digs.
It was back-and-forth play throughout the first set. The two teams squared up at 11-11 on Schwartze's kill. They remained tied at 15-15, then the Muskies went on a 4-0 run to take the 19-15 advantage on Verhamme's block.
Later, the Griffins got it down to 23-22 on Stephen Lendy's kill. However, a Fontbonne attack error and a kill from Ben Miller gave Lakeland the 25-22 win. The Griffins fared well in the first set, posting 19 kills and a .405 hitting percentage. Lakeland, though had to play near perfection to get past the Griffins with its 18 kills and .548 hitting percentage.
In the second set, after the Muskies took a 10-8 lead, the Griffins rattled off a 6-2 run to regain the advantage at 14-12 on consecutive Lakeland attack errors.
After a timeout from the Muskies coaching staff, Lakeland responded with a 5-0 run of its own to get the lead back 17-14 and that forced the Griffins coaching staff to take a timeout.
Out of the break, Fontbonne met-up with them once more at 19-19 on a service error. The Muskies, though closed out on a 6-2 run to take the second, 25-20. The Griffins were held to just eight kills and a .057 hitting percentage in the set.
The team still led 22-16, then the Muskies got to within one at 23-22 on Verhamme's kill. The Griffins pulled ahead and had two chances at set point, however, a kill from Verhamme and a block assist by Desmond Williams and Addison Mertler notched the scoreboard up at 24-24.
Fontbonne maintained its composure, closing out on a Josh Farley kill and a Lakeland attack error to win, 27-25. The team bounced back in the third with 16 kills, while holding the Muskies to 12 and a .093 hitting percentage.
In the fourth, the Muskies took an 11-8 lead on Dakota Hunter's kill. They maintained its marginal lead as the set wore on with the Griffins hanging right there at 21-20 on Schwartze's kill. Lakeland still was on top 22-21 and from there they closed out on a 3-0 run, winning the set and the match, 25-21.
Fontbonne looks to bounce back on the road next Saturday against Illinois Tech at 5:30 p.m., followed by another outing against Maranatha Baptist at 7:30 p.m.
Fans make sure to stay updated on fontbonnegriffins.com throughout the year for full updates and recaps on the men's volleyball team.