Digging The Dozen

Photo by Holly Lipka.

The Men’s volleyball team has not lost a game during the month of March, as they are currently on an 12-match winning streak.

The Hawks have defeated four nationally-ranked Div. III teams since winning both games of the UVC Crossover on Saturday, March 7.

First, was No. 10 New York University, who the Hawks defeated 3-0 (25-14, 25-19, 25-21).

Next was No. 12 Dominican University, who the Hawks defeated 3-0 (25-19, 25-19, 25-23) on Monday, March 16.

Hawks third-year middle blocker Christopher Husmann led the team with 13 points and was tied with first-year outside hitter Anthony Bonilla for the team lead in kills with nine. Third-year co-Captain Christian Smith was also key to the Hawks’ victory, as he led the team with six digs, as well as posting 17 assists and a .500 hitting percentage.

The Hawks then competed in the Milwaukee School of Engineering Tri-Match on Tuesday, March 17. The team first played host No. 15 Milwaukee School of Engineering, and defeated them by a score of 3-1 (21-25, 25-20, 25-16, 30-28).

Hawks third-year outside hitter Andy Fishman led the team with 14 kills and notched 15.5 points and six digs. Bonilla also contributed to the win, as he recorded 13 kills and 10 digs. Fourth-year setter John Lutjen led the Hawks as well, as he notched a team-high 29 assists and 10 points.

Later that day the Hawks played Lakeland College and won 3-0 (25-19, 25-21, 25-23).

Husmann led the team with 11 kills and a .471 hitting percentage. Smith was key to the win again, as he recorded a team-high 18 assists and 12.5 points.

On Wednesday, March 18, the Hawks won their eleventh-straight match as they were victorious over No. 8 Carthage College by a score of 3-1 (25-18, 25-17, 20-25, 25-19). The win ran the Hawks record up to 17-3 for the season.

Fishman was the star once more, as he led the Hawks with 16 kills and 20 points. Fishman was named United Volleyball Conference (UVC) Player of the Week and Corvias Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) North Player of the Week for the period ending March 22. This is the second UVC Player of the Week award for the Hawks this season, as Smith earned the honor on March 10.

Hawks second-year middle blocker Steven Woessner posted a team-high .600 hitting percentage and added six kills to his performance. Third-year co-Captain Kevin Nardone led the Hawks with 14 digs. Nardone believed the win to be one of the biggest during the team’s winning streak.

“Carthage really cemented the great road trip we had,” he said.

Head Coach Radu Petrus credits his team’s strategy for their success.

“Our strong team with skilled players as well as good physical and technical attributes have been key for us,” he said. “Our success has also been prevalent because our setters run a smart offensive scheme.”

The Hawks remain ranked at No. 3 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division III Men’s Coaches Top 15 Week #9 Poll, released on Tuesday, March 24.

On Tuesday, March 24, the Hawks shutout New Jersey City University 3-0 (27-25, 25-18, 25-14) to extend their overall record to 18-3.

The Hawks will host Hunter College on Thursday, March 26 at 7 p.m. before playing a pair of conference games over the weekend. The Hawk Center will play host to three matches during the UVC Crossover on Sunday, March 29. The Hawks will play No. 11 Elmira College and Bard College

“We had a couple of days off for spring break but now we are back at it practicing and have two matches this week against Hunter and NJCU,” Smith said. “Both of these matches will prepare us greatly for the crossover this weekend at home against two quality opponents.”

About Melissa Kramer 157 Articles
Melissa Kramer is a fourth-year journalism major who lives for sports and music.