OWINGS MILLS, MD. -- The Trine University men's volleyball team faced a tough opponent in No. 6 nationally-ranked Stevenson (Md.) University and fell to the Mustangs, 3-0, in a non-conference match in Owings Mills, Md.
Trine (6-16) stayed with Stevenson (17-3) early in the first set and had a 5-3 lead following a kill by freshman Jackson Condrey (Spokane, Wash./Ferris). The Mustangs then outscored the Thunder, 16-2, to take the lead by a commanding, 21-7, margin. Stevenson would go on to cruise to a 25-12 final and take a 1-0 match lead.
In the second set, Trine began in similar fashion as the first with two straight points that included a kill by freshman Eric Santiago-Garcia (San Juan, Puerto Rico/Glen Ridge), to lead, 2-0. The two teams went back back-and-forth until a 10-1 Stevenson run with the score even at 12-12, gave the Mustangs a commanding lead with a score of 22-13. But Trine would not go quietly as the Thunder battled back to within three points, 23-20, highlighted by a 6-0 run that included three kills by Santiago-Garcia. Time wasn't on Trine's side to complete the comeback, however, as Stevenson recorded the final two points it needed en route to a 25-21 final and a 2-0 match advantage.
Stevenson jumped out to an early 5-1 lead in the third set and never looked back. The Mustangs later increased the lead to double figures with a 16-4 advantage when Trine tallied three straight points to narrow the gap back to single figures, 16-7. But that would be as close as the Thunder got the rest of the way as Stevenson recorded its largest lead of the set of 15 points with the final score of 25-10 to take the overall match by a final of 3-0.
Statistically for Trine, freshman Kyle Dixon (Lockport, Ill./Lockport Township) led the team in kills with eight. He was followed by Santiago-Garcia with six kills and Condrey was third with four kills.
Junior Hunter Monday (Beech Grove, Ind./Lutheran) led the team in assists with 15 and four players each recorded a service ace.
Defensively, freshman Blake Grosse (Belleville, Ill./Belleville Twp. West) fell just short of double figures in digs with nine to lead the team. Monday was second with six digs and Condrey rounded out the top three with four digs.
The duo of Dixon and Condrey led the team in total blocks with a solo and assisted block each. Monday ended the match with a solo block and freshmen Eric Reuther (Williamstown, N.J./Williamstown) and Dan Boren (Fort Wayne, Ind./Homestead) both added an assisted block.
Trine is scheduled to take on Mount St. Joseph (Ohio) University in a Midwest Collegiate Volleyball League match on Saturday, Mar. 16 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The match is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.