The Lindenwood men's volleyball team rallied back a handful of times on Wednesday night in Hyland Arena, but in the end the No. 4 Hawai'i Rainbow Warriors proved their ranking in a three-set sweep of the Lions.
The teams combined for 19 tie scores throughout the match, including three lead changes. Lindenwood gained control of the lead late in the third frame before Hawai'i took consecutive points to end it, 26-24. The Lions attacked at a higher rate in the third set with a .269 clip compared to the Rainbow Warriors' .222, but the total-match attacking percentage of .192 for Lindenwood proved costly in the end.
Head coach Kris Dorn was proud of how his team began the match, showing that they wouldn't let the slow start to the season keep them down.
"We've been working really hard at staying focused, and keeping mistakes as things to learn from instead of bogging us down," Dorn said.
The Lions had five players total at least five kills in the match, led by Jake Duckworth with eight. The senior attacked at a .278 clip, while also tallying a service ace and one assist.
Connor Hipelius hit .333 on the night with six kills, including three in the third set. The sophomore also tallied one solo block and five of the assisted variety. Sam Schindler contributed seven kills on the night, while Ryan Moore had six.
Schindler and Duckworth recorded double-digit points for the ninth and sixth times this year, respectively, while adding to the team's 49 total points.
The defense held strong with a total of nine blocks and 19 digs. Despite not getting the start at libero, Ryan Vorderer led the team with six digs, while Duckworth (4), Adam Brewster (3), and Moore (2) combined for nine. Brewster added 32 assists on the night, his second-straight match with double-digits and his sixth contest with at least 32 dimes. The sophomore setter contributed on three assisted blocks, and also had two kills, which is the third match he recorded at multiple kills and fifth in total of at least one.
After coming out in the second set following a hard loss in the first, Dorn mentioned the team's willingness to maintain composure and keep fighting during the third frame.
"I'm really proud of how our guys stayed together," Dorn remarked. "We showed some grit in the third set. Now we just need some more consistency and keeping moving forward."
The loss drops the Lions to 0-11 midway through the season, and will get back to MIVA action this Sunday in Columbus, Ohio at No. 1 Ohio State. The match is scheduled for 3 p.m. CT.