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Men’s College Volleyball: Lewis earns No. 2 seed in MIVA Tournament

The Lewis bench celebrates point Saturday.| Dennis Nelson/For Sun-Times Media

The Lewis bench celebrates a point Saturday.| Dennis Nelson/For Sun-Times Media

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The mission for the Lewis University men’s volleyball team was simple: Sweep Grand Canyon this weekend and earn the No. 2 seed and possibly two home games in the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association Tournament.

Mission accomplished.

No. 11 Lewis had little trouble posting a 25-14, 25-14, 25-13 MIVA win over Grand Canyon on Saturday at Neil Carey Arena.

Lewis (21-6, 11-3 in the MIVA) is the No. 2 seed in the MIVA Tournament and will host No. 7 Grand Canyon (14-17, 2-12) for the third time in seven days in the first round Friday in Romeoville. No. 1 seed and nationally top-ranked Loyola (23-1, 13-0) will host the MIVA championship.

“We’re going to have to play well and continue it through the playoffs,” Lewis senior setter B.J. Boldog said.

“We knew we could finish as the second seed and we did that,” Lewis coach Dan Friend said. “We took care of business.”

Lewis made good on 47 percent of its attacks to win its sixth consecutive game. Greg Petty’s 11 kills, Boldog’s 27 assists and 10 digs by Lucas Yanez paved the way.

“This was awesome,” Boldog said. “Five years flies by pretty fast. It’s awesome we came out strong after a hard-fought match last night. We haven’t been doing that the last few Saturdays.”

“It was fun and exciting,” Friend said. “I thought the guys responded fantastic. The guys stepped on the gas right away and never let up.”

It was the final regular- season match for Boldog and reserves Victor Schaefer and Yiwei Zhou. The loudest cheer of the night came when Schaefer had a kill late in the third set. The game ended on a kill by Zhou.

“The seniors played great,” Friend said.

Grand Canyon scored the first two points of the first set. That was the first and last time the Antelopes led. Five service errors by the Antelopes paved the way to victory in the first set. An ace by Petty ended the set.

Lewis raced to an 8-2 lead in the second set after a Grand Canyon hitting error. Another Antelope error pushed the advantage to 18-9. Petty’s ace seconds later made it 20-10. Boldog’s kill finished off the set.

Geoff Powell’s dig and then a kill gave Lewis a 4-1 lead to start set three. It also gave the junior from California the serve. He served five straight points to give the Flyers a 9-1 cushion.

Patrick Lilly’s ace made it 16-6 and forced a Grand Canyon timeout. Zhou’s kill from Scot Fifer ended the set and the game, giving Lewis a 14-3 regular-season home record.



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