HIRAM, Ohio – The Terrier men's volleyball team found themselves on both ends of marathon matches on Wednesday evening, splitting a pair of games against Keuka College in Price Gymnasium.
Playing in an unconventional doubleheader, Hiram battled the Wolves twice in the same evening, with both matches needing all five sets to determine a winner. The Terriers' day was highlighted by the second contest, in which the hosts came back from a two-set deficit to win, 3-2.
In the second match, Hiram quickly fell behind 2-0 after dropping set one 25-17 and set two by a score of 25-19.
Needing to rally to stay in the match, the Terriers ran their set three lead out to a seven point advantage out of the gate (12-5). Cole Filer, Cory Fischer and Alex Andrzejewski all posted kills in the run, while Colton DeForest capped the momentum with a service ace that pushed Hiram's lead to its largest of the set.
Keuka also showed fight in the set, whittling down the Hiram advantage before pulling the score even at 24-24.
The Wolves looked to end the match early as a service ace from Cole Riley pushed the Terriers to match point. However, a kill by Fischer, coupled with a Keuka miscue, put Hiram back on top, 27-26.
After the Wolves tied the score again, DeForest posted a kill before a block by Andrew Gard and Andrzejewski ended the set, 28-26.
Set four saw runs from both sides answered by the other. Trailing 10-9, Hiram put together a four-point swing, including another block and kill from Andrzejewski, to push ahead 13-10.
The Wolves would tie up the score at 13, at 15, and once again at 17, before pushing ahead by one (18-17) on a kill by JP Neary.
With the set again tied at 19-19, Hiram would again go on a run, receiving kills from Gard and Andrzejewski, before DeForest came through with another clutch ace.
Despite all that, the Terriers once again faced defeat, finding themselves down 24-23 following an ace by Kamren Record.
Hiram would again find the strength to respond, sticking together a three-point swing to end the set and tie the match at 2-2. Fischer tied the set with a kill, before an error by the Wolves gave the Terriers the lead. Captain Jake Lininger then finished off the set with his first ace of the match, giving Hiram the 26-24 victory.
Set five belonged to the hosts. With the decisive game tied at 6-6, Hiram used a 6-2 swing to take a 12-8 lead in the set. Andrzejewski posted a pair of kills in the run, including the final which forced a Keuka timeout. He led all players with 15 kills.
It was Gard who finished off the comeback, as he posted his third kill of the match to give Hiram the 15-11 win in set five, and the match, 3-2.
Along with Andrzejewski's 10th game recording double-digit kills, Fischer tallied 11. DeForest finished with nine to go along with a team-best 15 digs and three service aces. Lininger paced the offense with 38 assists.
Defensively, Fischer posted a double-double, adding 10 digs to his 11 kills, while DeForest came one kill shy of his first-career double-double.
The comeback victory in game two came on the heels of a five-set loss in the first match. The Terriers captured sets one (25-17) and three (25-22), while Keuka won the match with set victories in two (25-22), four (25-18) and five (25-12).
DeForest led the offense with a .346 hitting percentage while totaling 13 kills. Again, he came one mark shy of a double-double, tallying nine digs. Overall in the two games, the freshman totaled 22 kills and 24 digs.
Andrzejewski posted a game-high 15 kills in the match, while Fischer added eight, and Gard and Filer, six each. Lininger tallied his second-career double-double with a career-high 44 assists to go along with a career-best 11 digs.
Hiram will continue their season-ending home stand on Friday and Saturday as they host the Hiram Spring Invite. The Terriers will welcome Illinois Tech, Juniata and Adrian College to Price Gymnasium for six total games in a two-day span.
The Terriers will first face Illinois Tech on Friday evening. The matchup with the Hawks is scheduled for 6 p.m.