Volleyball for men overtakes number 1 Carthage in thriller with five sets

HOBOKEN, NJ (January 22, 2022) – The Stevens Institute of Technology men’s volleyball team overcame four match points to collect 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.

graduated student Jack Fyda had a team-high 12 kills and freshman year Koby Sherman racked up 11 kills in his collegiate debut for the Ducks, who won their third straight game by improving to 3-0. The come-from-behind win broke Carthago’s two-game winning streak in the series and was the Ducks’ first win over the Firebirds in Hoboken since 2008.

Three-time All-American Matt Slivinski had a match-high 21 kills and 13 digs for the Firebirds, which fell to 0-2.

In the deciding fifth set, the teams battled to a 9-9 score before the defending National Champions scored three straight points to claim a 12-9 lead. Junior Chris Varseveld put down Louden Moran set to briefly slow down Carthage, but Schmidt would bring the Firebirds to match point after putting down a Gene McNulty set.

With the game at stake, Sherman and Moran would reconnect and juniors Connor Feulner set a free pass to narrow the Ducks down to 14-13 and Sherman tied the score to 14 with his last kill of the game. Moran finished with 38 assists – the second highest total of his career.

The Ducks had a chance to end the game at 15-14, but a service error returned to the Firebirds. An attacking foul gave Carthago the fourth match point, but a controversial timeout call stopped Firebirds’ momentum.

After the timeout, Feulner put down a Moran set and Fyda followed with his 12th kill of the match to give Stevens his second match point. This time, the Ducks quickly repented with Fyda and Feulner teaming up to fill Schmidt for the final point of the match, prompting the Ducks to celebrate.

A spirited Ducks defense defended 48 digs, with junior Nathan Lancia led the effort with a career high-matching 16. Stevens held Carthago on a .136 attack percentage, including .167 (18-9-54) in the last two sets. Conversely, the Ducks batted .302 (23-7-53) over the same piece.

Stevens forced the deciding set with a near-perfect fourth set, committing only two offenses and one service foul by beating Carthago 10. Moran had a pair of aces in the keyframe and the Joliet, Illinois native joined Fyda in the setting killing four. Leading 15-13, Stevens scored seven straight points with Moran on the serve to create division between the teams.

Carthago used a booming serve to build a 2-1 lead, totaling 11 aces over the first three sets. Stevens won the second set 26-24 in a back and forth affair that resulted in six draws and three line changes.

Inside the numbers

  • Feulner led all players with an attack percentage of .313 (8-3-16). He also had a team high five blocks.
  • Slivinski finished with a match-high five aces.
  • Kyle Cohan had 15 digs to lead Carthage.
  • Carthage finished with more kills (55-49), aces (14-7), blocks (10-9) and digs (55-48).
  • sophomore Phu Quy Ho had three digs in its seasonal debut.
  • The Ducks improved to 2-1 in five sets under head coach Dan Buehring.
  • The Ducks are 3-0 on the season for the third time in the last four seasons.

Unsung hero

  • First year Jesse Knuckles committed only one error in 19 reception attempts. The Gurnee, Illinois native ended up with eight digs.

From the Sidelines – Head Coach Dan Buehring

  • “Our group knew we had to prepare to face an incredible fight with a great team, and I think we can be proud of our resilience throughout the game. I’m amazed at the level of effort, guts and combat of this group.”
  • “We can learn a lot from this win and look forward to continuing to grow as a team. There will be a lot of great challenges and opportunities along the way. I hope our group would like to connect with each of them. It’s just a privilege with this team to be able to play and coach the game with the energy they generated today.”

Next one

  • Men’s Volleyball welcomes New Jersey City University and No. 8 New Paltz to the Canavan Arena for a tri-match on January 29.
  • The Ducks have won all 18 encounters with the Gothic Knights, with 17 of the 18 victories in three sets. The Ducks are all-time 24-12 against the Hawks, although the teams have alternated the last six wins and losses.
  • Live stats and video links are available at StevensDucks.com.

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