Kingsmen Get First Top-10 Win in Program History, Take Down No. 4 Stevens

Dietrich tallied 15 kills as the Kingsmen defeated No. 4 Stevens 3-2.
Dietrich tallied 15 kills as the Kingsmen defeated No. 4 Stevens 3-2.

HOBOKEN, N.J. — Justin DietrichAndrew Reina and Dasmen Stewart all recorded double-digit kills as the Cal Lutheran men's volleyball team upset the No. 4 Stevens Ducks 3-2 on Friday night in Canavan Arena. The scores of the match 25-23, 28-26, 19-25, 22-25, 15-7.

The win marked the first time in program history that the Kingsmen knocked off a top-five team. They also defeated No. 15 Rivier this season. The signature win improved CLU to 12-9 on the year. Stevens is now 22-3. 

Dietrich tallied a team-high 15 kills and had a hitting percentage of .400. He added three blocks and one service ace. Reina and Stewart were next with 14 kills. Reina was one dig shy of a double-double with nine and matched Dietrich with the three blocks. 

Grant Nelson and Alec Bennett moved the ball around well as eight Kingsmen recorded a kill. Nelson tallied 36 assists, eight digs and two blocks while Bennett had 17 assists and five digs. 

Defensively,Connor Hinthorn led the Kingsmen with a season-high 12 digs and Brendan Ward totaled a team-high four total blocks. 

The first set was tied 12 times and the teams traded the lead back-and-forth. With Cal Lutheran down 20-19, the Kingsmen scored four straight points take the lead. Dietrich recorded a kill and then served an ace as Stevens called a timeout. CLU kept the points coming as Ward and Stewart swatted down back-to-back kills to give the Kingsmen a 23-20, and Stevens took its second timeout. CLU held on to the lead and took the first set 25-23. 

The second continued to be just as close before the Ducks took a 23-19 lead after a block. CLU scored three points to cut the lead to one with two points coming of a Reina kill and a Nick Christy and Kelly Jew combined block. The Kingsmen then had their backs against a wall as Stevens made it 24-22. Jew tallied a kill and then combined with Dietrich for a block and the score was tied at 24. After being tied at 25 and then 26, CLU finally found the edge. Dietrich recorded a kill and then Hinthorn served the winning ace as the Kingsmen claimed the second set 28-26.

The No. 4 team in the nation responded as the Ducks won the next two sets and forced a decisive fifth set. CLU came out firing in the fifth set and took an 8-2 lead. Dietrich and Stewart both recorded two kills and then the blocks came as Reina and Stewart tallied a solo block and then Reina and Ward combined for another. 

 Cal Lutheran kept up the tough play at the net and did not let Stevens back in the game. Reina tallied three kills down the stretch and Stewart, Hinthorn and Jew each added one as CLU won the fifth set 15-7 and stole the match 3-2. 

The Kingsmen wrap up their East Coast on Sunday and will play Marymount at 8 a.m. Pacific Standard Time. 

Box Score: CLU 3, No. 4 SIT 2
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Release by Ryan Jorgenson, Sports Information Director