DES MOINES, Iowa — The No. 8 seeded St. Andrews University men’s volleyball team fell 3-1 set, 25-21, 19-25, 16-25, 19-25, to No. 4 Briar Cliff University (Iowa) in its second match of Pool A of the NAIA National Invitational on Wednesday.
St. Andrews got out to a great start taking the first set, 25-21 to start of the match off on a high note. Briar Cliff never got within two points the entire set as the Knights hit .290 with 14 kills while Briar Cliff hit .156.
The second set saw the Chargers gain and keep control throughout the majority of the set. St. Andrews managed to trim its deficit down to four points but it was too little too late. Briar Cliff went on to win the second set, 25-19 win.
The third set was close throught the mid-way point with St. Andrews leading by three, 14-11; however, a series of controversial calls, changed the momentum of the match. Briar Cliff finished on a 14-2 run to pick up the 25-16 third-set victory. The Chargers hit .350 on 14 kills while the Knights only managed eight kills with nine errors.
Using the momentum from the third set, the Chargers rolled to an easy 25-19 fourth set win to take the match.
Briar Cliff totaled 53 kills in the match hitting .246 while St. Andrews had 44 kills. The teams combined for 21 total blocks.
Senior Robin Imar led the Knights with a double-double of 12 kills and 15 digs along with two aces and two blocks. Sophomore setter Jackson Stark also had a double-double with 38 assists and 11 digs.
Sophomore Edgar Huerta added five kills with four digs and two blocks while sophomore Libero Jacob DeSouza had five digs and two assists. Freshman outside hitter Diego Hernandez led the Knights with 16 kills with nine digs, an ace, and two blocks and an assist. Sophomore middle blocker Nate Blackwell tallied nine kills with one error to hit .308 with two digs and six blocks.
Briar Cliff improves to 16-5 on the season and played No. 1 Missouri Baptist Thursday afternoon.
St. Andrews falls to 19-8 on the season and faced No. 5 seed Lourdes University (Ohio) in the third round of Pool A on Thursday. The Knights lost to Lourdes during the regular season in a close five-set match.