April 29, 2012

Lewis Wins 2012 MIVA Championship

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Thanks to 21.5 blocks, the No. 7 Lewis men’s volleyball team won their first Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association Championship since 2004, on Saturday (April 28) evening with a 3-2 (20-25, 25-17, 22-25, 27-25, 15-10) comeback victory at No. 10 Ohio State. The win advances Lewis to the NCAA National Semifinals.
 
“This is a culmination of all the work that has been put in since I got here to rebuild the program and return it to where it was,” Lewis head men's volleyball coach Dan Friend “Ultimately, it was this great group of guys that came through to accomplish the goal but there has been several classes in my time at Lewis that has helped us reach this pinnacle.”
 
The Flyers took the fifth set, thanks to five kills in the frame by senior Jay Petty (Downers Grove, Ill./Downers Grove North). Petty had kills for points 14 and 15. He was named the MIVA Tournament MVP.
 
Petty, along with senior middle hitter Aaron Flick (North Ridgeville, Ohio/St. Edward), sophomore setter BJ Boldog (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) and freshman outside hitter Geoff Powell (Claremont, Calif./Claremont) were selected to the All-Tournament team.
 
Lewis responded after dropping the first set with a win in the second set thanks in large part to Flick. The fifth-year Flyer had seven kills and two block assists in the second set. He slammed down an OSU overpass to give the Flyers a 10-7 advantage. It forced the Buckeyes to take a timeout and gave Lewis some early breathing room.
 
Other than when OSU scored the set’s first point, Lewis didn’t trail in the third set until OSU scored four straight to take a 17-15 lead. While Lewis kept it close the rest of the frame, they would never tie again tie the score.
 
The fourth set was the tightest of the match, featuring nine ties and four lead changes. Lewis cruised to a 15-9 lead before seven straight OSU points gave the lead to the Buckeyes. The Flyers responded, and led 21-19 when OSU went on a 3-0 run to grab the lead back. Lewis, however, was the first to set point after an attack error by OSU gave Lewis a 24-23 lead. The Buckeyes denied two set points until a block by freshman Greg Petty (Downers Grove, Ill./Downers Grove North) and senior Matt Gallik (Evergreen Park, Ill./Brother Rice) gave the set to the Flyers.
 
“All the tough losses and great wins this year built character and made us mentally tougher to give us the opportunity to take advantage of this situation tonight,” Friend said. “We were really good up to 15 tonight but to get those next ten we had to grind out some points and in the fourth set we did that.”
 
  Lewis never trailed in the fifth set. Ohio State asked for a timeout after Lewis grabbed a 6-3 lead. The big point of the frame seemed to be the next one. When after the timeout, Greg Petty, Gallik and Boldog combined for a block to make it 7-3. Ohio State cut the lead to 12-10, but an OSU service error and back-to-back kills by Jay Petty ended the match.
 
Jay Petty finished with 25 kills, eight digs and six blocks. Powell added 17 kills and five blocks. Flick finished with 11 kills and no errors. Gallik added 12 blocks (one solo).
 
“When you have four guys on the all-tournament team is shows how well everybody played,” Friend said. “But we rode Jay in many matches this year and he pulled us through tonight.”
 
Lewis improves to 26-6. Ohio State falls to 21-9. The Flyers will play on Thursday in the National Semifinals against an opponent to be announced. The National Semifinals will be played at the Galen Center on the campus of USC in Los Angeles, Calif.

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