April 13, 2012

Cardinals Take Down Hawks in Three

In a battle at Pepsi Arena, the Hawks fell in three sets to conference opponent Ball State University this evening.  The Cardinals defeated the Hawks 26-24, 32-30, and 25-19.

In the first set, Quincy battled nearly point-for-point with the Cardinals, even jumping out to a 9-5 lead by holding Ball State to just four kills.  However, the Cardinals caught up on a kill followed by three consecutive attack errors from the Quincy offense to tie the game at 9-9.  The Hawks fell behind 17-13, but took advantage of a service ace and a kill from Joe Sokol to tie the score at 17-17.  With the Cardinals at match point, an attack error gave the Hawks an extra chance to score, but two consecutive kills from the visiting team handed Quincy the 26-24 loss.

Game two was a nail-biter for fans as the two teams battled to 32 points before a decision was made.  Quincy started off hot with two kills from Sokol, but the Cardinals tied it up to launch the two teams into a scoring battle.  For the next 12 points, the two teams alternated scoring in perfect sequences, until attacking errors plagued the Hawks to allow the Cardinals to pull ahead 11-8.  However, the Hawks stayed close to their opponent until they were able to tie the score at 22-22 on an attack error from Ball State's Greg Herceg.  The two teams mirrored each other for the next eight points until Ball State capitalized on a kill and an offensive hitting error from the Hawks.  Quincy hit .297 in the second set with 18 kills and seven errors in 37 attempts.

In the final set, the Cardinals got hot to record their best hitting percentages of the night.  Ball State hit .360 in the third set on 13 kills and just four errors in 25 attempts.  The Hawks, on the other hand, hit .161 on 12 kills and seven errors in 31 attempts.  An early scoring streak allowed the Cardinals to jump out to a 7-2 lead, but kills from Steven Battaglia and Joe Ascher, as well as some timely hitting errors from the visitors allowed the Hawks to catch the Cardinals and tie the score at 11-11.  Quincy trailed Ball State closely until the Cardinals took off on four consecutive errors from the Hawks.  Quincy regained some ground on a lapse in Ball State's offense, but the Cardinals took the 25-19 win on a final attack error from the Hawks. 

Overall, Quincy hit .194 42 kills and 22 errors in 103 attempts while Ball State hit .303 on 43 kills and 16 errors in just 89 attempts.  Ball State out-blocked Quincy 7-3, but the Hawks recorded a .945 serve reception percentage, committing just four errors in 69 attempts, while the Cardinals posted a .905 serve reception percentage with six errors in 57 attempts.  Sokol led the Hawks with 14 kills, five digs, and two service aces while Battaglia added 10 kills and hit .421 on the night.  Andrew Ouano finished with 35 assists.

Quincy falls to 17-13 on the season and 1-11 in the MIVA.  The Hawks are back in action Sunday, April 15th for their last home game of the 2012 season.  Seniors Robert Courtney, Matt Bronson, Joe Ascher, Joe Sokol, Ryan Lehmann, Andrew Ouano, James Wizniak, and Ryan O'Malley will be recognized for their careers at Quincy University.

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