Men’s Volleyball Begins Road To NCAA Tournament

Photo courtesy of Steve Woltmann: Redshirt senior setter B.J. Boldog led the team in assists this year with just over 10 a set, and also had the second most blocks on the season. 

Nicole Kappelman, Assistant Sports Editor

The Lewis University men’s volleyball team has capped off quite the regular season, as they finished with an overall record of 21-6 and 11-3 in conference play.

During the final regular season game, the Flyers took on the Antelopes of Grand Canyon University. Sweeping the Lopes in three matches, the Flyers also celebrated senior night on April 12. Redshirt senior setter B.J. Boldog and seniors Victor Schaefer, libero, and Yiwei Zhou, middle blocker, were all sent off for the Flyers. Junior outside hitter Greg Petty paved the way for the Flyers with 11 kills and two aces. Junior opposite Eric Fitterer had collected six kills, while junior libero Lucas Yanez had 10 digs. Boldog had 27 assists, while redshirt junior outside hitter Geoff Powell had five digs and two block assists.

Following that final game, five Lewis players were nominated to the 2014 Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association All-Conference team as the regular season came to a close.

Boldog, Petty, Powell, Yanez and sophomore middle blocker Bobby Walsh were the five selected. Boldog and Powell were selected to first team honors, while Petty, Yanez and Walsh were selected to the second team.

During regular season play, Boldog had a .365 hitting percentage, along with 2,408 assists. Powell, a two- time All-MIVA First Team Honoree, led the conference with 222 total putaways. Petty collected 18 double- figure kill matches, as well as being named the American Volleyball Coaches Association Player of the Week on Jan. 28. Yanez had eight double-figure dig matches and averaged 2.33 digs per game.

Yanez was also selected as the MIVA Defensive Player of the Week during the last week of conference play. He collected 19 digs and four assists in the sweep over Grand Canyon on April 12.

Opening up the first round of the MIVA conference playoffs, the Flyers took on Grand Canyon, sweeping them for the second-straight time. Leading the Flyer offense, Powell collected 19 kills in the game, while also netting four digs. Petty had seven digs and five total blocks, while Boldog had 37 assists. Walsh had six kills and three blocks, and Yanez collected nine digs. Winning 29-27, 25-18 and 25-20, the Flyers advanced to the next round of the MIVA Tournament.

On April 23, Lewis took on No. 13 ranked Ball State in the MIVA semifinal game at Neil Carey Arena. In a tough and tight match- up, the Flyers were able to come out on top, winning in five matches. Powell paved the way again with 18 kills, while Petty collected 16. Ball State came out strong winning the first match 25- 23. The Flyers answered back, though, coming out in the second match, winning 25-17. With the series tied at one apiece, the Cardinals took back the lead winning the third match 25-22. It was the fourth and final set, however, that set Lewis on the road to the MIVA Conference Championship match up. Winning 25-13 in the fourth set and 15-8 in the fifth and final match, the Flyers proved that they deservingly were the 11th ranked team nationally.

With the semifinal matchup win, Lewis took on Loyola University on Saturday April 26 at 7 p.m. at Loyola University. For results of that matchup and the rest of Lewis’ season, check lewisflyers.com.

Nicole Kappelman
Nicole Kappleman is the sports editor for the Flyer.

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