HIRAM, Ohio – The Illinois Tech men's volleyball team concluded the regular season with two matches at a road quad match in Hiram, Ohio on Saturday. The team defeated the Bulldogs of Adrian 3-2 in the first match but fell against the Juniata Eagles in the second match, 3-0.
How it Happened – Adrian Match
- The first set was highly competitive between the Scarlet Hawks and Bulldogs. Adrian could only manage a two-point lead within the first 10 points scored and Tech quickly negated that lead. The Bulldogs regained the lead 16-13 before Lukasz Kupiec strung three straight serves together to once again draw Tech into a tie—one of 18 and five lead changes. Kupiec's five kills and Cinjun Coe's eight kills kept the Hawks in the set for its entirety. The two teams needed extra time to decide a winner, cruising past 25-25 and onto 30-30. Unfortunately, a service error and a quick counter from the Bulldogs after the late tie gave Adrian the win in the first set 32-30.
- Kupiec began the second set where he left off in the first, getting one kill and serving well to propel Tech to an early 8-4 lead. From there, the Scarlet Hawks never led by less than three for the rest of the set. Coe was once again strong at the net, earning seven kills in the second set alone. Daniel Throop also proved to be pivotal in the second set, as he supplied 18 assists for the Hawks en route to a 25-16 Tech win.
- With both teams even with one set apiece, the third set began like the beginning of match—tied at 4-4 and competitive. Two kills by Evan Robeck put Tech ahead and an ace by Coe gave the Hawks at 12-9 lead. Robeck followed with an ace of his own, causing the Bulldogs to call timeout. Tech rebuilt the lead to four at 20-16 with yet another ace from Coe and—despite some mistakes down the stretch—fought off the Adrian rally to take set three 25-23.
- Adrian's Noah Marcinkowski—who led the Bulldogs with 19 kills for the match—started the fourth set well after some strong serving, including an ace. Once again, neither team could pull away and the two teams found themselves tied at seven. Tech started to struggle with team defense for a stretch and trailed by four before calling for time. That deficit proved to be a bit too much for the Hawks to overcome in the set, as Marcinkowski landed three kills to help seal the Adrian win, 25-21.
- In the fifth and final set, both teams battled to take home the win. Coe and Kupiec stepped up for the Hawks, getting four of the first five points to begin the set. After three more kills by Marcinkowski, the Bulldogs held a 12-10 lead in the first-to-15 final set. But Tech called a key timeout and Coe got back to work—earning three kills to force a 15-15 tie. In the extra time, the Scarlet Hawks stepped up and executed until finally Kupiec got a key kill and followed it up with a strong serve to give the Hawks with set and match win, 21-19.
Scarlet Hawk Standouts - Adrian Match
- Coe led the Scarlet Hawks with a dominant 33 total kills on a .301 attack percentage and three service aces. That total is an Illinois Tech record for kills in a match for men's volleyball.
- Kupiec was also stellar with 22 kills and 14 digs
- Throop was strong for the Hawks with 48 total assists, a kill, 17 digs and two block assists
- Easton Kays and Andriy Bench also supplied seven kills each plus five total block assists
Stats to Know - Adrian Match
- Tech led in kills 75-58
- Tech had more assists (72-55) and digs (79-71)
- The Scarlet Hawks doubled-up the Bulldogs in terms of service aces 7-3
- Adrian held a slight edge in total blocks (9-8)
How it Happened – Juniata Match
- Tech jumped out to a 10-6 lead over Juniata to begin the match, with Kupiec fueling the attack after two kills and consecutive service aces in that stretch. The Scarlet Hawks continued to hold a four-point lead at 14-10 before Juniata began to come back. The Eagles used a couple of Hawks errors and key kills to tie the set at 18. The set remained tied even as late as 23-23, but the Hawks yielded two late points to drop the first match 25-23.
- The second set started with the teams trading points, tying the set eight times before each team scored 10. Juniata's Matt Vasinko served the Eagles to a two-point lead at 12-10 before Andriy Bench retaliated with three straight serves of his own to give the Hawks the lead once again. Matt Schaeffer and Quinn Peterson regained the lead for the Eagles after eight straight combined serves and Juniata would not relinquish it. The Eagles closed out the Hawks 25-19 in set two.
- Peterson continued his serving into the third set, where he gave Juniata an early 3-0 lead. Tech fought back and was able to tie the set at 12-12 after kills by Robeck, Coe, Bench and Kupiec. However, the Eagles once again put together a stretch of serves to rebuild the lead, this time by a score of 17-13. Ultimately, Juniata held off the Scarlet Hawks to take the set and match by a score of 25-20.
Scarlet Hawks Standouts – Juniata Match
- Coe once again led the Hawks with 13 kills with 11 digs
- Kupiec added nine kills, two assists, two aces and five digs
- Robeck had seven kills on a team-leading .308 attack percentage. He also had two digs
Stats to Know – Juniata Match
- Tech held the overall advantage in kills (37-30) and assists (37-23)
- The Scarlet Hawks struggled behind the service line, committing 22 service errors while Juniata only committed nine infractions
- Juniata had more blocks—six total—while Tech failed to record any
- The Scarlet Hawks finish the season with a 13-16 record