By: Athletic Communications Student Assistant Paige Phillips '23
HIRAM, Ohio – The Baldwin Wallace University men's volleyball team faced Hiram College and Eastern Mennonite (Va.) University in a pair of non-conference matches hosted by Hiram. The Yellow Jackets fell to Hiram in four sets in scores of 25-19, 25-23, 20-25, and 25-19. BW defeated Eastern Mennonite in straight sets by scores of 25-22, 25-20, and 25-12.
Match 1 vs. Hiram
The Terriers (3-3) took the lead early in set one, but the Yellow Jackets (4-4) closed the gap at 5-5. The lead flipped back and forth until Hiram went on an 8-1 run, putting them up 16-10. Hiram held the lead to the end, winning set one 25-19.
The second set kicked off with BW leading, until an 11-3 streak by the Terriers put them ahead. The Terriers held a strong lead, but the Yellow Jackets worked on closing the gap. A huge kill by sophomore hitter Don Travis (Reynoldsburg) tied the score 20-20. However, Hiram held the game just out of reach, claiming set two by a score of 25-23.
Set three was close in the beginning and saw a tie at 11-11, until BW began to pull ahead. Hiram tied it up again at 16-16 and kept the score close. At the 19-19 tie, the Yellow Jackets went on a 6-1 run, winning the third set 25-20.
BW and Hiram kept the fourth set close, going point-for-point. Following a 15-15 tie, Hiram began to pull ahead. Sophomore setter Brandon Long (Hinckley/Metea Valley, Ill.) earned a huge kill to keep the score close, but a 6-1 run by the Terriers got them the set and match win.
Outside hitter Nick Irelan (Powell/Olentangy Liberty) led the Yellow Jackets with 19 kills. Long boosted the offense with 46 assists, seven digs, and two kills. Sophomore All-MCVL outside hitter Michael Beard (Hilliard/Darby) added 14 kills and nine digs.
Match 2 vs. Eastern Mennonite
The Royals (0-3) immediately took the lead in the first set, but BW quickly tied it up. The score remained close throughout the set until a huge kill by Travis gave the Yellow Jackets momentum. BW claimed the first set 25-22.
The Yellow Jackets went on a 9-2 run to kick of the second set and get the early advantage. Eastern Mennonite worked throughout the set to close the gap, coming within one point of the Yellow Jackets at 20-21. BW was able to grab the last four points of the set, winning the second set 25-20.
BW grabbed an early lead in set three after starting off with a 7-1 run. The Royals worked to chip away at BW's lead, but the Yellow Jackets stayed ahead. After a few short runs and a huge kill from Beard, the Yellow Jackets took the second set and match win, 25-12.
Beard led the Yellow Jackets in the second match, posting 11 kills. Irelan finished with six kills and three digs. Long contributed 23 assists and seven digs.
The Yellow Jackets are back in action on Saturday, February 12 when they travel to Rochester, New York for two non-conference matches against Rutgers-Newark University (N.J.) at 2:00 p.m. and St. John Fisher College (N.Y.) at 5:00 p.m. inside the Manning & Napier Gymnasium.