Flames get set for N.C. State event with sweep of Lancers
November 6, 2013 | Lynchburg, Va.
Though it showed a bit of rust from the month layoff since its last tournament, Liberty University's men's volleyball team managed to sweep Longwood University in a best-of-five-game match Wednesday night at the Schilling Center, winning 25-22, 25-21, 25-9. The match against the nearby Lancers (Farmville, Va.) was a late addition to the schedule.
Liberty (7-3) displayed some positive signs, especially on offense, led by freshman outside hitter Josiah Hershberger (nine kills, two aces, two blocks), junior middle hitter Joel Marselus (eight kills), and senior right-side hitter Kevin Snyder (seven kills, three digs).
"In the first game, Josiah Hershberger was perfect, with four attempts and four kills," Flames Head Coach Bryan Rigg said. "He continued that same sort of evening in the last two games. He was not 100 percent, but he was very good all night on offense.
"Kevin was also very good offensively," Rigg added. "In the first game, he was five for six on kills, so he certainly came ready to play and he was a leader. He played a good mental game. (Senior setter Ethan Chase) had a good jump serve tonight and had (four) aces, probably one of the best serving performances of the year."
He also distributed 25 assists, though he struggled to find his rhythm in the setting game.
Defensively, the Flames experienced some breakdowns, recording no blocks in the first two games and only two in the third.
Rigg said that although his team did not perform as well as he would have liked, the experience was beneficial and should prove to be a valuable learning tool as the Flames look ahead to more intense competition.
"It was good for both teams get a close match in," Rigg said. "It increased our desire to continue to get better. We'll go back and watch the film to assess ourselves, see where we are, and what we need to focus on improving."
Liberty will play in its second tournament of the season Nov. 16 at N.C. State, where the Flames expect to face much more formidable competition from several Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association Division I South foes, including Duke, North Carolina, and the host Wolfpack, as well as UNC Wilmington and Wake Forest.