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The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

Kingsmen volleyball sweeps Ottawa University

Logan Bury
The Kingsmen made quick work of Ottawa University as they swept the Spirit in three sets.

The California Lutheran University Kingsmen volleyball team swept the Spirit from Ottawa University Arizona in three sets on Thursday night, picking up their 22nd win of the season, having won 11 of their last 12 games.

The first set was a back-and-forth affair from the beginning to the end. The largest lead that either team ever held during the first set was a two-point lead. After 18 deuces, the Kingsmen topped off the first set with two consecutive points making the final score of the first set 43-41.

Head Menโ€™s Volleyball Coach Kevin Judd spoke highly of his team’s performance in this difficult set and its importance throughout the rest of the match.

โ€œJust to persevere through that and come out on the winning side says a lot about their grit and I think it just gave us that edge going into the next couple of sets,โ€ Judd said.

Junior setter Taylor Marks praised the team’s preparation in getting them through this challenge of a first set.

โ€œWe have been conditioned very well by our training coach Spencer, so I thought we were conditioned well, not tired, those guys were gassed over there,โ€ Marks said.

The Kingsmen made swift work of the spirit in the following sets, taking them 25-17 and 25-20 to secure the match win. Senior outside hitter Jordan Cooper led the team in kills with a total of 16. Senior outside hitter Michael Stahl was a close second behind Cooper, adding 12.ย 

โ€œWe were firing on all cylinders, which is something we’ve never really done all season and we’ve still had a great season so far but we’ve never had everyone hitting great, everyone passing great, and tonight we were just on,โ€ Weber said.

Judd agreed with this assessment, believing a lot went right for the Kingsmen.ย 

โ€œA lot of things went right, good ball control, some good swinging, attacking at the net, came up with some big blocks on them in the end there to just kinda create a little bit of distance in the second and third set, so just good clean play allowed us to take care of that match,โ€ Judd said.

Even with such high praise for their performance, the team believes there is always an aspect of play to be improved. Both Judd and his players said the Kingsmen’s serving needs to be improved before the NCAA tournament. Marks and Judd also said the locations at which they serve need to be focused in to allow the Kingsmen to pinpoint the weak spots in opposing teamsโ€™ defenses.

โ€œLooking at it, we played almost perfect, the only thing is we had maybe 3 service errors we shouldn’t have, but other than that we played pretty dang close to perfect,โ€ Weber said.

Heading into next week’s tournament selection, the Kingsmen are currently ranked fourth in NCAA Division Three. Weber said he believes this performance highlighted the team’s ability going forward.

โ€œI think it just shows we can compete with everyone, they’re number four in the nation for NAIA, we’re number four in the nation for D3. That third set we were down, 15-12, 18-15, it just shows no matter where we are in the set we can always come back, a lot of grit from this team,โ€ Weber said.ย 

With the National Intercollegiate Athletic Association tournament rapidly approaching, the Kingsmen have continued to prove themselves as contenders for a national championship. With only five losses to date, the Kingsmen are currently ranked fourth in the nation heading into the postseason.

The Kingsmen will close out the regular season with the team’s senior night game against Moorpark College on Saturday, April 13 at 6 p.m. From there, the Kingsmen will await the NCAA committee’s decision to determine where their journey for the first national championship in program history begins.

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