THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — The Violet and Gold went into battle with the North Central Cardinals inside Gilbert Arena on Friday night. Despite a hard-fought battle, Cal Lutheran men's volleyball fell to the hands of North Central, 2-3 (25-20, 22-25, 27-25, 20-25, 14-16).
The Kingsmen hit .500 in the first set and Justin Dietrich had the first kill of the game. The entire first set was point for point between Cal Lutheran and North Central until the Kingsmen started to pull away with a kill from Andrew Reina. Cal Lutheran was able to take the first set 25-20 and both Michael Campbell and Grant Nelson served an ace apiece.
The Kingsmen started the second set off strong as they took a quick 3-0 lead. The Cardinals answered back with a four point run, bringing them back in the game. It continued to go point for point between the Cardinals and the Kingsmen until North Central went on a service run at the end, taking the second set 22-25.
It continued to be a battle between the two teams in the third set. Cal Lutheran called for a timeout at 22-23 and out of the timeout Dietrich had a huge attack from the middle, tying the game up. The Cardinals quickly sided out but Mason Mercer brought the game back to 25 all with a kill from the right side. Campbell and Mercer teamed up for a block to finish the set, helping the Kingsmen take the third, 27-25.
The fourth was just as competitive as both teams came out swinging. As each team quickly sided out, it was a close and exciting game until North Central went on a 7-2 run. The Kingsmen tried to comeback from the deficit but the Cardinals were not going to back down as they won 25-20 in the fourth set.
The Kingsmen started out great in the fifth set as they had a 6-2 lead, forcing North Central to take a timeout. Cal Lutheran continued to push points, finding themselves up 11-6. The Cardinals, however, did not back down. North Central's Nick Lilley brought the Cardinals back with an ace and a few kills, tying the game up at 13 all. The Kingsmen fought hard but unfortunately the Cardinals took the fifth set from Cal Lutheran, 14-16.
Reina led the Kingsmen with 16 kills and a hitting percentage of .448. Dietrich was one kill shy of Reina as he put down 15 kills and a hitting percentage of .364. Campbell was a force at the net as he led Cal Lutheran with five blocks, 4 assist and one solo. Nelson, Patrick Rowe and Alec Bennett helped protect the backrow with nine digs each. Nelson also tallied 50 assists, two kills and two service aces. Rowe also put down 12 kills and had a hitting percentage of .176.
The Kingsmen will face Brooklyn College again as they take to the court at 11:00 a.m. tomorrow morning in Gilbert Arena.
Box Score: NCC 3, CLU 2
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Release by Nicki Tetherow, Assistant Sports Information Director
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