CHICAGO - Marian University men's volleyball (2-7, 2-1 NACC) opened a busy weekend defeating Illinois Tech in straight sets with set scores of 25-22, 25-23, and 25-23.
The Sabres took an 11-4 advantage to open the match and eventually expanded their lead out to 24-17. Illinois Tech kept things competitive fighting off five set points before a service error gave Marian the opening set. The Sabres would only manage seven kills in the opening set.
The second set was tight throughout leading out to a 20-20 tie. Marian was then able to finish the set out strong with a 4-1 run to lead to a 2-0 sets lead. The third set was similar to the second set with back-and-forth action leading to a 23-23 tie late. An Illinois Tech service error followed by a service ace from Jacob Jurney then clinched the Sabre sweep.
The offense was extremely spread out for the match with four Sabres recording at least four kills led by senior Jon Smallpage who had eight kills. Junior Jacob DeGroot had five kills with no errors for a .556 hitting percentage.
The Marian defense was especially strong with senior Cullen Liberski recording a match-high 13 kills. At the net, the Sabres had nine blocks led by senior Ben Walter, DeGroot, and Smallpage who each had four total blocks.
Marian takes on Aurora at 1 p.m. tomorrow, Saturday, February 16, in NACC action before taking on Loras at 3 p.m. in non-conference action.