Vikings Spoil Griffins Season Finale; Rothstein Sets Single-Season And Career-High In Digs

Vikings Spoil Griffins Season Finale; Rothstein Sets Single-Season And Career-High In Digs

ST. LOUIS, Mo.—The Fontbonne University men's volleyball team had high hopes of closing out the season with a win against Augustana, however, the Vikings spoiled the finale with a four set (25-23, 23-25, 25-27, 21-25) win.

Prior to the game, the Griffins honored its five seniors in Jacob Lendy, Stephen Lendy, Nedim Novalic, James Sauermann and Tony Pitaro.

The Griffins (19-8; 4-5 MCVL), finished with 42 kills, a .128 hitting percentage, 56 digs and a season-high 16 blocks. On the offensive side of the net, Stephen Lendy led with a team-high 13 kills. Mark Klusman also had a strong game with 11 kills.

Jacob Lendy posted 25 assists, while Zach Rothstein set a new single-season record in digs. He ended the outing with 16 and that puts him not only atop the record books but also set a new-career-high for himself with 331. Part of the success defensively also can be attributed to Pitaro's season-high six block assists.

The Vikings (11-16; 4-5 MCVL), compiled 62 digs and were busy on the defensive side of the net with 74 digs.

Individually, Richard Baum stood out with his 15 kills and .333 hitting percentage. Justin Murphy overcame his 12 attack errors with 14 kills, while Jason Szara recorded a double-double with 13 kills and 14 digs.

Ryan Hirschel handed out a match-high 51 assists, while libero Matthew Schiferl contributed a match-high 21 digs.

In the first set, the Griffins jumped out to a 10-8 lead on Klusman's kill. Later, an attack error by the Vikings gave Fontbonne a 20-17 lead. After a timeout, Augustana tied the match at 23-23, though Fontbonne collected the final two points and went for the 25-23 win.

In the second, it was back-and-forth play early but the Griffins owned a 17-14 lead on consecutive Augustana attack errors. The team maintained its marginal lead, 22-20, on a Klusman kill.

However, the Vikings closed out the set on a 5-1 run as Andrew Housholder's kill gave them the 25-23 victory.

The story started out the same in the third with Fontbonne taking a 13-11 lead on another Klusman kill. The two teams met-up at 15-15, then the Vikings went on a 3-0 run and grabbed an 18-15 advantage.

Fontbonne got back in it and evened up the set at 20-20. From there, each team had an answer for the others point. A block assist from Pitaro and Kyler van Rossum-O'Connell tied it at 25-25. The Vikings, though earned the final two points on Murphy's kill and a Griffins attack error, winning 27-25 and taking a two sets to one lead.

In the fourth, a block assist from Kyler van Rossum-O'Connell and Emir Hadzisalihovic gave the Griffins a 14-13 lead. The Vikings answered with a 3-0 run and the Fontbonne coaching staff took a timeout.

The Griffins narrowed it down to 21-20 on Klusman's service ace. That'd be as close as they'd get with the Vikings hanging on for the 25-21 win on Housholder's and Hirschel's block assist.

Fans make sure to stay updated on fontbonnegriffins.com throughout the year for full updates on the men's volleyball team.