No. 8 Kingsmen Start 2019 Season with Sweep

Andrew Reina tallied eight kills as the Kingsmen defeated the Arcadia Knights 3-0. (Photo: Danielle Roumbos)
Andrew Reina tallied eight kills as the Kingsmen defeated the Arcadia Knights 3-0. (Photo: Danielle Roumbos)

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif.— The No. 8 Cal Lutheran Kingsmen volleyball team showed an all-around performance as they shut down the Arcadia Knights 3-0 on Thursday night in Gilbert Arena. The scores of the match were 25-23, 25-16, 25-16. 

It was the season opener for the Kingsmen. They have won eight straight games dating back to last year. 

Cal Lutheran showed why they were ranked No. 8 in the nation and put their offense and defense on full display. The offense got better each set and hit .220 in the first, .333 in the second and .391 in the third. On the defensive side, the Kingsmen showed their power at the net and combined for 10 total team blocks.

Senior Brendan Ward connected on eight kills, on just 10 attacks, for a hitting percentage .800. He also had two blocks and one dig. 

Junior Andrew Reina matched Ward with eight kills of his own. He added three digs, two services aces and one block assist. Junior Patrick Rowe was next with five kills and added three digs.

Junior Nick Christy led the defense with six total blocks, including two solo blocks. Senior Dasmen Stewart saw his first action with the Violet and Gold. He made his presence known around the net as he recorded four block assists. He also tallied three kills and two digs. Junior Justin Dietrich was also a force around the net and had one solo block and three assisted blocks. 

Juniors Grant Nelson and Alec Bennett kept the offense going with 13 and 10 assists, respectively. Bennett had a team-high six digs and Nelson added three more and had a service ace. 

Freshman Eli Moore saw his first action and tallied five digs. Moore and sophomore Marc Quezada shared time at the libero position. Quezada was third on the team with four digs. Six different Kingsmen tallied at least three digs.  

The first set was very competitive as the teams went back-and-forth in scoring. Towards the end of the first set, the Kingsmen found themselves in a 19-17 hole. After a timeout, The Kingsmen scored two straight points and six of the next eight to take a 23-21 lead. A little bit later, Ward and Christy combined for the set-winning block. 

Cal Lutheran kept that momentum going into the second set and had a 9-1 lead after scoring eight straight points. Christy and Stewart combined for two block during the run. Reina connected on an ace, and Stewart and Rowe added a kill. CLU kept that distance the rest of the way and took a 2-0 lead in the match after winning the set 25-16.

With the Kingsmen up 9-7 in the third set, Reina swatted down a kill, Christy tallied a solo block and Nelson served an ace. Cal Lutheran was looking for the sweep as they tallied two more three-point runs. They went onto win the set 25-16 and the match 3-0. 

The Kingsmen get their first tournament action this weekend. Cal Lutheran travels to Santa Cruz, Calif., for the Slug-Fest Tournament. The Kingsmen start the tournament on Saturday with North Central at 12 p.m. and No. 5 SUNY New Paltz at 4 p.m. 

Interview with Nick Christy and Brendan Ward:

Box Score: CLU 3, AU 0
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Release by Ryan Jorgenson, Sports Information Director