RIVERSIDE, Calif. – The Saint Francis men's volleyball team earned a split on the first day of the CBU Invitational, defeating host school California Baptist in straight set after losing to Concordia, 3-1.
SFU vs. Concordia (1-3-: 25-21, 23-25, 22-25 and 23-25)
Stephen Braswell (Manchester, Pa./Northeastern) and Jeff Hogan (Northern Cambria, Pa./Northern Cambria) both posted 20 kills to the pace the Red Flash offense while Daniel Ford (Newtown, Pa./Council Rock North) dished out a match-high 50 assists and added four service aces. Gabe Woffindin (Allentown, Pa./William Allen) led Saint Francis with nine digs on the defensive side. SFU hit .378 compared to Concordia's .304.
After falling behind 6-7, SFU used a 4-0 run to pull ahead 9-7 in the first set. SFU used a pair of 3-0 runs midway through the set to take a 15-13 and 19-16 lead. Saint Francis would take the set 25-21. SFU hit .417 and held Concordia to a .038 hitting percentage in the set.
Concordia turned the tables in the game two, jumping out to a 5-1 lead as it held a lead for the entire set.
Saint Francis would pull out to a 5-3 lead in the third set, but their lead would be short lived as the Eagles strung together a 4-0 run to jump out to a 7-5 advantage. A service ace by Nick Bennett (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks East) and kills from Hogan and Braswell highlighted three unanswered points for the Flash, as they would tie the set at 13-13. A quick three-point stretch bookended by two kills from Hogan pulled SFU within 22-24, but Concordia scored the final point to take the match, 25-22.
In a back-and-fourth fourth set, Concordia would put together a 3-0 run to break a 14-14 tie to take a 17-14 advantage. A Ford kill and service ace would pull the Flash within one at 21-22, forcing the Eagles to take a timeout. Out of the break, Concordia would outscore Saint Francis, 3-2, to take the set and match, 25-23.
SFU vs. Cal Baptist (3-0: 25-18, 25-17 and 26-24)
Saint Francis (1-1) earned its first win of the season with a three-set victory over California Baptist. The Red Flash held the Lancers to a .138 hitting percentage, while SFU hit .387 in the match. Michael Fisher (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Cumberland Valley (Pepperdine)) recorded 10 kills on 16 attempts to lead SFU. Daniel Ford (Newtown, Pa./Council Rock North) finished with 32 assists, while Gabe Woffindin (Allentown, Pa./William Allen) led the Flash with six digs. Ford and Keith Kegerreis (Chambersburg, Pa./Chambersburg) each tallied four total blocks.
Fisher led SFU with four kills, as the Flash finished with a .500 clip in the first set. Saint Francis jumped out quickly on Cal Bap and never trailed in the first set. The Red Flash held the Lancers to just a .111 hitting percentage.
Both teams traded points in the early going of the second set, with SFU eventually taking a 9-6 lead. The Red Flash used a 6-1 run to take a commanding 15-9 advantage, highlighted by two kills by Nick Bennett (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks East). The Lancers would chip away at the Red Flash lead, 17-14, but SFU responded with a 3-0 run to put the match out of reach at 21-15. Bennett punctuated the set with two kills for a 25-17 SFU victory. Saint Francis would hit .550 for the set.
SFU used a 6-0 run to break open a 7-7 tie in the third set. Jeff Hogan (Northern Cambria, Pa./Northern Cambria) had two service aces during the streak. The Lancers would not go out quietly, as CBU scored four unanswered points to cut the Saint Francis lead to one at 23-22. A kill by Stephen Braswell (Manchester, Pa./Northeastern) and Hogan would seal the set and match, 26-24.
Saint Francis is back in action Saturday against Lindenwood at noon.