St. Francis Upsets No. 13 Ball State to Improve to 3-0


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LORETTO, Pa. - The Saint Francis men's volleyball team defeated No. 13 Ball State University 3-1 on Saturday evening at DeGol Arena to remain undefeated.

The Red Flash return to DeGol to take on No. 14 Ohio State on Sunday at 4 p.m.

The Cardinals took the first game 31-29, but the Red Flash stormed back and took the next three games 30-25, 32-30 and 30-28.

The Flash scored first in the initial set on a kill by Nick Rivett (Pittsburgh, Pa./Fox Chapel), but the Cardinals kept the score close before putting away the set on a kill by Todd Chamberlain.

SFU came out red-hot in the second set, scoring first on a service ace by Jordan Varee (Conneautville, Pa./Conneaut Valley) and quickly jumped out to an 8-4 lead when Chamberlain committed an attack error. The Flash kept the Cardinals confused, forcing them to commit 10 attack errors in the second set. An error by Eric Schulte would put set two away for the Red Flash 30-25.

It was the Cardinals who struck first in the third set, forcing Rivett to commit and error of his own. SFU quickly recovered, and the two teams would trade points for the remainder of the set before the Red Flash claimed victory on another Cardinal error.

BSU scored first again the fourth set, and took a narrow lead before Varee's kill put the Red Flash up 9-8. Varee's kills dominated the set, but it was a kill by Pete Freyer (Orchard Park, N.Y./Orchard Park) that took the Flash to a 30-28 victory in the set and a 3-1 win overall.

Varee led the way with 25 kills and 13 digs. Shane Conley (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny) had 63 assists for the Flash. Conley and Freyer also led the team in blocks, with 4 apiece. Freyer came away with the day's best attack percentage of .500.

Rivett had 2 service aces and 19 kills for Saint Francis, while Varee and Alex Fortney (York, Pa./Central York) each had an ace as well. Fortney also came away with 3 assists and 11 kills. Markus Schulze (Berlin, Germany/Anne Frank) had 14 digs for the Flash.

Chamberlain had 17 kills for the Cardinals, and Ethan Pheister racked up 54 assists. Billy Ebel led Ball State in digs with 16, and Dominic Spadavecchio had two service aces on the night.

Head coach Mike Rumbaugh was more than pleased with his team's performance against a nationally-ranked foe.

""I was very impressed with our guys' energy tonight," said Rumbaugh. "We brought our level of play up to theirs, and our offense was great tonight, particularly our serves. Our guys definitely fed off the energy of the tremendous crowd."

Article courtesy of St. Francis athletics.

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