By Katie Green, Manager of Athletic Communications and Media
DES MOINES, Iowa – Benedictine Mesa (Ariz.) punched its ticket to the 2018 NAIA Men’s Volleyball National Invitational finals Friday night with a 3-1 win over Lourdes (Ohio). The Redhawks advance to the championship match in only their first appearance at an invitational.
The teams battled for the opening set with a total of 16 scoring ties. At 24 all, a kill from Lourdes’ Matt Mittry and a block by Ricardo Gehrke and Brendan Brown gave the Gray Wolves the set with a final of 26-24.
The teams went back and forth to start the seconds set. However, BenU Mesa was able
The Gray Wolves controlled the game early, but Benedictine Mesa hung with them and battled back from as much as a five-point deficit. After tying the score at 20 all, the Redhawks went on a 5-3 run to take the set 25-23.
Despite Lourdes keeping pace with the Redhawks, they were unable to take the lead in set four. Benedictine Mesa created some space with a 5-2 run after being tied at seven. BenU Mesa advanced their lead to as much as five after that as they made their way to a 25-20 set four win.
Logan Adcock of Benedictine Mesa led all attackers with 17 kills. Lourdes Brendan Brown posted an impressive attack percentage of 0.684 with only one error on 19 total attempts and 14 kills.
The Redhawks Jaron Jones posted a match-high 51 total assists at 12.75 assists per set and Jesus Izaguirre had the match-high of 19 total digs at nearly five digs per set.
BenU Mesa recorded a tournament-high 20.5 blocks as a team.
Benedictine Mesa will advance to the championship to face Grand View (Iowa) at 6 p.m. CT. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3 and the NAIA Network.