Olivet, Mich. - Fontbonne University men's volleyball took down Brooklyn College 3-0 and Olivet College 3-1 Friday night as they open their season with a 2-0 start.
Sophomore Emir Hadzisalihovic hit .600 in the middle as he led the team with seven kills on 10 attempts. He also tallied three block assists as the Griffins teamed up for 6.5 total team blocks. Right-side TJ Vorva participated in four blocks while James Sauermann got his hand on three and Tony Pitaro two. Brendon Schwartze and Stephen Lendy each recorded six kills while Pitaro missed only one of five attempts, hitting .800. Freshman Kyler van Rossum-O'Connell recorded 18 assists in his first career start as Jacob Lendy tallied 10. Stephen Lendy recorded the team's high of seven digs.
The two teams met on season-opening day in a non-conference matchup with Olivet only taking the third set in a close matchup. The Griffins won 25-20, 25-15, 23-25 and 25-21.
Olivet jumped out to a 7-1 lead before Fontbonne crawled back and took a 16-14 lead. The Griffins then scored four points in a row to lead 20-16 and hold on for the first set win.
Fontbonne led the entire second set. Olivet cut the difference to two before the Griffins scored four consecutive points to give them some space as they powered through for the win. Play was back and forth in the third set with 13 ties. Fontbonne led 21-20 but Olivet secured three points to lead 23-21. The Griffins accepted two points on Olivet's service error and attack error but the Comets avoided the sweep on a Griffin attack error.
After Olivet held a 3-2 lead in the fourth set, Fontbonne scored four unanswered points to lead 6-3 as the Griffins remained in control and secured their second win of the night.
Stephen Lendy put up 18 kills and Schwartze 15 as the Griffins tallied 54 total kills in the match compared to Olivet's 42. Van Rossum-O'Connell assisted 25 times while also tallying 10 digs. Libero Zach Rothstein recorded 11 digs while Stephen Lendy added 10 himself. Hadzisalihovic led the team with three block assists.
On the Night
Fontbonne dominated the second set of each game, as their opponents only tallied a combined 26 points.
Stephen Lendy finished the night with 24 kills, a .396 kill percentage, 17 digs and five aces as Schwartze tallied 21 kills. Van Rossum-O'Connell assisted 43 times and dug out 13 attacks in his first collegiate doubleheader. Hadzisalihovic hit .500 with 13 kills and totaled six glock assists. Vorva finished with five block assists and 10 kills. Rothstein finished with 15 digs.
The Griffins travel from Michigan to Pennsylvania as their second double-header of the year is at Thiel College. Fontbonne will take on the hosts from the Continental Volleyball Conference at 8 a.m. Central time, followed by Medaille College at 10:30 a.m. Fontbonne, with two games under their belt, will be the season-opening opponent for both Thiel and Medaille. Video and live stats for both games can be found on our schedule page here.