Men's Volleyball Takes Down #6 Graceland, #2 Park
Monday, February 21, 2011
by Athletic Staff
Hannibal, MO – The Hannibal-LaGrange Men’s Volleyball team avenged an early season losses to Graceland University and Park University with back to back victories this weekend in a span of time that only lasted 20 hours.
On Friday night the Trojans hosted Graceland University, undefeated in four MAMVIC West Conference matches to that point and carrying a #6 NAIA national ranking. After dropping a 25-23 first set, Hannibal-LaGrange answered with three straight victories 25-20, 25-18, and 25-16 to send the Yellow Jackets packing with their first conference defeat of 2011.
Sophomore Outisde Hitter Matheus Roham lit up the Yellow Jackets for 21 kills and a .500 hitting efficiency.
“This level of production is almost unheard of from an outside hitter against such a good defensive team like Graceland,” remarked head coach Blair Greenwood after the win. “[Roham] really came to play tonight and showed why he is an all-conference caliber player.”
Middle Blockers Tom Burke and John McCanna combined for 11 blocks to own down the middle of the net for the Trojans.
After the emotional win, the Trojans had to wake up and leave early to face #2 Park University on the road in Kansas City the next afternoon. Park escaped with a 3-2 win in Hannibal last week after the Trojans took the first two sets. Each of the last four matches between Park and HLG had gone all the way down to the wire so the stage was set for another epic battle.
After trading each of the first four sets, both teams prepared for yet another decisive fifth set – making it the fourth five-set marathon in the last five meetings between the two teams. After falling behind 7-3, HLG reeled off three straight points to close the gap before Park sided out to hold an 8-6 lead. The Trojans’ defense stayed strong though, fighting to even the match at 12.
Each team fought off a match point for the other side before Ryan Rams went to the service line and helped push two points for an 18-16 Trojans victory.
“This was a huge win for us on so many levels,” said coach Greenwood. “Besides the fact that this was a road victory in conference, we had never beaten Park before in our history after so many close matches. To take down the #2 team in the nation on their home court less than a day after an emotional home win is a big time accomplishment for our guys. All the potential we’ve talked about is being seen and we’re going to work hard to keep this train rolling.”
Hannibal-LaGrange stays on the road next week as they face conference rival Missouri Baptist Tuesday night in St. Louis, MO.
Contact InformationCarolyn Carpenter
Director of Public Relations