HOBOKEN, NJ (January 22, 2022) – The Stevens Institute of Technology men’s volleyball team overcame four match points to rally and defeat No. 1 Carthage College in five sets (18-25, 26-24, 15-25, 25-15, 18-16) Saturday in a non-conference game at Canavan Arena.
Graduate student Jack Fida had a team record 12 eliminations and freshman year Koby Sherman had 11 kills in his collegiate debut for the Ducks, who won their third straight game improving to 3-0. The win from behind ended Carthage’s two-game winning streak in the series and was the Ducks’ first victory over the Firebirds in Hoboken since 2008.
Three-time All-American Matt Slivinski had a record 21 kills and 13 digs for the Firebirds, who fell to 0-2.
In the deciding fifth set, the teams battled to a 9-9 scoreline before the defending national champions scored three straight points to take a 12-9 lead. Junior Chris Varseveld ask a Louden Moran set to slow Carthage briefly, but Schmidt would bring the Firebirds to match point after setting up a Gene McNulty set.
With the match in play, Sherman and Moran would connect again and junior Connor Feulner dropped a free ball to bring the Ducks to 14-13 and Sherman connected on his last kill of the game to tie the score at 14. Moran finished with 38 assists – the second most of his career .
The Ducks had a chance to close the game at 15-14, but a service error returned the serve to the Firebirds. An attacking error gave Carthage their fourth match point, but a controversial timeout call halted the Firebirds’ momentum.
After the timeout, Feulner netted a set from Moran and Fyda followed with his 12th kill of the contest to give Stevens his second match point. This time the Ducks quickly converted with Fyda and Feulner teaming up to stuff Schmidt for the game’s final point, sending the Ducks into a celebration.
A feisty Ducks defense defended 48 digs, with junior Nathan Lancia leading the effort with a career-high 16. Stevens held Carthage to .136 attacking percentage, including .167 (18-9-54) over the final two sets. Conversely, the Ducks hit .302 (23-7-53) during the same stretch.
Stevens forced the deciding set with a near-perfect performance in the fourth set, committing only two attacking errors and one service error as they edged Carthage by 10 points. Moran had pocket aces in key frame and the Joliet, Illinois native joined Fyda in the setting. down four wins. Leading 15-13, Stevens scored seven straight points with Moran on serve to create separation between the teams.
Carthage used a booming serve to build a 2-1 lead, totaling 11 aces through the first three sets. Stevens won the second set 26-24 in a back-and-forth that produced six draws and three lead changes.
Inside the numbers
- Feulner led all players with an attack percentage of .313 (8-3-16). He also had five blocks, a team high.
- Slivinski finished with a match of five aces.
- Kyle Cohan had 15 recoveries to lead Carthage.
- Carthage finished with more kills (55-49), aces (14-7), blocks (10-9), and recoveries (55-48).
- Second year Phu Quy Ho had three recoveries on his season debut.
- The Ducks improved to 2-1 in five sets under the head coach Dan Buehring.
- The Ducks are 3-0 to open the season for the third time in the last four seasons.
- First year Jesse Knuckles made only one error out of 19 reception attempts. The Gurnee, Illinois native finished with eight digs.
From the Sideline – Head Coach Dan Buehring
- “Our group knew that we had to prepare to go into an incredible fight with a great team, and I think we should be proud of our resilience throughout the match. I am amazed at the level of effort, courage and fight of this group.”
- “We have a lot to learn from this victory and we look forward to continuing to grow as a team. There will be a ton of great challenges and opportunities on the road ahead. with everyone. It’s just a privilege with this team, to be able to play and coach the game with the energy they generated today.”
- Men’s volleyball hosts New Jersey City University and No. 8 New Paltz at Canavan Arena for a tri-match on Jan. 29.
- The Ducks have won all 18 meetings with the Gothic Knights, with 17 of 18 wins in straight sets. The Ducks are 24-12 against the Hawks, although the teams have alternated wins and losses over the past six meetings.
- Links for live stats and video are available at StevensDucks.com.
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