© 2010 Jordan Richmond, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio
History was made Friday, Feb. 12 at the Cutler Event Center, in the first-ever home men’s volleyball matches between two NCAA schools in Michigan. Olivet faced the Marian Sabres (Wisconsin) on Friday and the Lakeland Muskies (Wisconsin) on Saturday.
Olivet, 1-6 overall, 0-4 in the Midwest Collegiate Volleyball League was outplayed throughout most of the weekend, getting swept in both games – Marian 25-20, 25-21, 25-12; Lakeland swept Olivet as well, 25-20, 25-15, 25-11. Olivet limited to having only eight players proved to be a challenge in both contests.
First, in the Friday Marion match, right off the bat, Olivet had great energy, tying up the Sabres early at 10 apiece, causing Marian to call the first time out. Coming out of the timeout, Olivet was still hanging tough as they managed to be down only two, 18-16, late in the set, when the Comets called a timeout. Olivet dug itself into a hole right after the timeout, going down three with the set slipping away. No. 14, sophomore Luke Dewitt, had an emphatic block to give the Comets hope, but the energy boost would prove to be ineffective as the Comets lost the set 25-20.
The second set was much of the same, with Olivet hanging around early until Marian took control late in the set and scoring a 25-21 win.
During the third set, Marian took full advantage of the Comets, jumping out to a quick 7-2 start, and never looked back, finishing 25-12 and completing the sweep.
“Our team right now isn’t so much about what the other team is doing, but it is more about our progress, protecting our side of the net, and raising our volleyball IQ up to a point that we are not making the unforced errors,” coach Casey Hilts said about his team’s performance. “We have the athletic ability here to eventually compete with other team’s offenses, but right now we have to learn how to play better defense and be efficient on offense.”
Saturday, Feb. 13 saw much of the same result as the Comets got swept by a powerful 4-2 Lakeland Mounties team.
During the first set, Lakeland jumped out to a quick 12-9 start, causing the Comets to call a timeout. The Mounties had steady control for the rest of the set, besting the Comets 25-19. Set two brought much of the same result as Lakeland won 25-19. In the third set, Lakeland cruised to a 25-11 victory.
“This was big, the first chance to show the campus what we are doing here; it is a big deal for the school debuting a new sport. Our players are having lots of fun, and that is the most important thing,” Hilts said on having the first home-game weekend.
More than 100 people were in attendance at the Friday night match, with more than 80 spectators on Saturday afternoon. The next home match is Wednesday, March 2 at 7 p.m. versus Siena Heights.