Griffins Continue Its Best Start In Program History

Griffins Continue Its Best Start In Program History

ALLIANCE, Ohio.— The Fontbonne University men's volleyball team continued its best start in program history on Saturday after picking up three more wins to improve its record out to 8-0.

The Griffins (8-0), totaled 114 kills and a .254 hitting percentage over the three-game stretch. Defensively, they held opposing teams to a .041 hitting percentage and totaled 20 blocks.

Individually, Mark Klusman led with 22 kills and a .265 hitting percentage. Emir Hadzisalihovic contributed 18 kills, a .607 hitting percentage, and a team-high 11 blocks. Brendon Schwartze, meanwhile, ended with 15 kills, 20 digs, and eight blocks.

Braden Woolsey tied Schwartze with 15 kills and Josh Farley added 14. Kyler van Rossum-O'Connell handed out 79 assists and finished second on the team with 22 digs. Zach Rothstein led the group overall with 32 digs.

Fontbonne 3 Thiel 0 (25-23, 25-14, 25-14)

The Griffins (8-0), displayed a dominant performance in the opener with 38 kills, a .237 hitting percentage and surpassed yesterday's season-high with 54 digs. They also posted five solo blocks and eight block assists.

Individually, Mark Klusman registered his second straight 12-kill performance, while Kyler van Rossum-O'Connell collected a double-double with 29 assists and a season-high 14 digs.

The Tomcats (1-7), had its struggles offensively with 25 kills and 23 errors for a .019 hitting percentage. Mitchell Patterson led with a team-high nine kills.

After back-and-forth play early, the two teams met-up at 10-10. From there, the Griffins gained some breathing room going on a 7-1 run. The Tomcats stayed in it and battled back to tie the set up at 20-20 on Jacob DeRue's kill. However, the Griffins pulled away from Thiel and went on for the 25-23 win on Klusman's kill.

In the second set, a Griffins service error put the Tomcats down 7-6. Fontbonne responded with a 7-0 run with Brendon Schwartze, Klusman, and Braden Woolsey's each hammering home kills to make it a 14-6 outing.

It was all Fontbonne the rest of the way as they went on for the 25-14 win. After totaling 12 kills and 11 errors in the first set, the Griffins compiled 12 kills and limited themselves to four errors for a .296 hitting percentage in the set.

In the third, the Griffins saved its best set for last. The team finished with a match-high 14 kills and one error for a .619 hitting percentage.

The two teams squared up at 11-11 on a Fontbonne service error. That'd be as close as the Tomcats would get with the Griffins closing out the set on a 14-3 run for the 25-14 set and match win.

Fontbonne 3 Mount Union 0 (25-16, 25-16, 25-23)

Against the Raiders, the Griffins finished with 41 kills and a .247 hitting percentage. Hadzisalihovic and Woolsey tied with six kills each. Kyler van Rossum-O'Connell dealt a team-high 20 assists and Rothstein led with 13 digs.

The Raiders were held to 23 kills and .031 hitting percentage. Mark Bruns compiled a match-high 10 kills, setter Jeremy Leyden led with 20 assists and tied Steven Grenier with eight digs.

In the first set, the Griffins took a comfortable 14-6 lead on Woolsey's kill. With the team totaling 13 kills and a .267 hitting percentage in the first they were able to cruise to the 25-16 win.

In the second set, it was back-and-forth play early on but a Raiders service error gave Fontbonne the 14-13 lead. Mount Union tied it at 13-13 on Mark Bruns' kill, but Fontbonne closed out the set on a 12-3 run for the 25-16 victory.

In the third, the Griffins owned a 16-11 lead on a service ace from Ivan Rendon. Later in the set, the team led 24-18 on a Jacob Hartmann kill, but Mount Union got back in it going on a 5-0 run to put them down 24-23 on a block assist from Bruns and Sam Matonis.

However, the Griffins finished off the set and match on a Raiders attack error for the 25-23 win.

Fontbonne 3 Penn St.-Altoona 0 (25-19, 25-20, 25-14)

The Griffins ended the weekend with 35 kills and a .282 hitting percentage against the Lions. Klusman and Farley with nine kills, Kyler van Rossum-O'Connell had 30 assists and Rothstein finished with a team-high eight digs.

The Lions (4-4), were held to 26 kills and Brian Sheddy led with a match-high 11 kills. Kyle Whiteman posted 15 assists.

In the first set, the Lions took a 10-5 lead, but Fontbonne answered with a 6-0 run as Kyler van Rossum-O'Connell's service ace gave them an 11-10 lead.

The two teams continued to go point-for-point, though the Griffins were able to hang on for the 25-19 win on Kyler van Rossum-O'Connell's kill.

In the second set, the Griffins rolled out to an 18-10 lead after consecutive Lions attack errors. Penn St.-Altoona trimmed the lead down to 21-18, but Fontbonne closed out the set on a 4-2 run for the 25-20 win.

In the third, Fontbonne took a 13-7 lead and went on a 5-0 run to own an 18-7 lead after a Lions ball handling error. From there, the Griffins never looked back and went on for the 25-14 set and match win.

The team returns to action on Tuesday in its home opener against Greenville. First-service at 7 p.m.

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

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