No. 15 Lewis Triumphs Over No. 6 UCLA, 3-2

2/13/2009

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ROMEOVILLE, Ill. - Senior Drew Pickering totaled 22 kills, including six in the fifth set to help No. 15 Lewis top No. 6 UCLA 3-2 (22-30, 30-26, 30-26, 21-30, 15-10) in front of a sold out Neil Carey Arena on Friday evening.

"Drew poured it on in another big match," head coach Dan Friend said of the reigning conference player of the week. "His kills were big, but his serving really helped keep the UCLA offense off guard."

UCLA controlled the first set and most of the second until the Flyers tied it at 22 on a Pickering kill. Another Pickering kill and then a block by Pickering and senior Billy Sahagian gave Lewis a 24-22 advantage. A Bruins timeout couldn't stop the Flyers' momentum, as senior David Kelnhofer pounded home two kills to make it 26-22. Junior Mike Iandolo finished the second set victory with an ace.

The third set changed on a 4-0 Lewis run that turned a 13 all score, into a 17-13 Lewis lead. Lewis led the rest of the way to go up 2-1. UCLA showed how a 19-time national champion responds by controlling the fourth set and forcing a fifth.

The UCLA fourth set victory only set the stage for Pickering in the fifth. He recorded three powerful kills to give Lewis a quick 3-1 advantage. It was 7-4 in favor of the Flyers when junior Nathan Klaas tallied one of his 12 kills to make it 8-4. To nobody's surprise it was Pickering scoring points 13 and 14 for Lewis to set up match point. When a UCLA attack went into the net the Flyers had the victory and the students swarmed the court.

"The crowd was fantastic," Friend said. "It really kept the guys going when we lost the first set."

Kelnhofer finished with 10 kills and eight digs.

"David really came up big for us tonight," Friend said. "He had a couple great digs and his loft serves disrupted their offense."

Senior libero Nick Perakes tallied 15 digs. Iandolo had 52 assists and 12 digs.

The Flyers won despite being out-hit .255 to .174.

"We kept changing our lineup and that helped us find some success," Friend said. "We started to make some adjustments and doing some things we scouted."

Lewis improves to 7-5. UCLA falls to 6-6. The Flyers are back in action on Tuesday when they host conference rival Loyola-Chicago at 7 p.m.

Article courtesy of Lewis athletics.

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