Lindenwood men’s volleyball held to just one win in Lindenwood Invitational

Lindenwood%27s+Kyle+Deutschmann+%28%235%29%2C+Elijah+Tabuarua+%28%232%29%2C+and+Sam+Schindler+%28%238%29+celebrate+after+a+score+against+Saint+Francis+University+on+Jan.+17.

Dominic Hoscher

Lindenwood's Kyle Deutschmann (#5), Elijah Tabuarua (#2), and Sam Schindler (#8) celebrate after a score against Saint Francis University on Jan. 17.

Dominic Hoscher, Sports Editor

In the Lindenwood Invitational, the Lions went 1-2 after hosting California (San Diego), Lees-McRae, and Grand Canyon over the past three days.

The first of these games was hosted on Thursday night, when the Lions took on a UC San Diego Tritons team that received 19 votes in the NCAA Division I Coaches Poll in their latest rankings. A difficult match up on paper also proved to be just as difficult in reality, as the contest ended up being a back-and-forth battle that went five sets.

The largest lead in the first set was just five points in favor of the Tritons, but Lindenwood quickly erased that margin and brought the score closer right after the lead was obtained. Later on in the first, it would be 21-21 after a two-point tying run by Lindenwood. That would be the last time that the Lions didn’t trail in the set, as the Tritons went on to win it 25-23.

In the second, it was 10-5 Tritons until Lindenwood went on a 13-2 run to take a 18-12 advantage. Despite UC San Diego securing four consecutive points moments later, the Lions would go on to win the set 25-22 and gained momentum after dropping the first set to the Tritons.

Lindenwood would carry this into the third set as well, with a more comfortable 25-20 victory in it. But the most sizable scoreline came in the fourth, when UC San Diego started to get rolling and put up the most dominant performance of the evening, taking it 25-16. This set up the first five set match of the season for the Lions.

It was close for a majority of the final set, with the Tritons grabbing an early 3-1 lead. The visitors would continue to add on, being first to double-digits with a 10-5 hold over Lindenwood. After the Lions battled back to make it a one-point game, both sides traded blows, again going back-and-forth. In the end, it was UC San Diego who came out on top, winning the final set 15-13 and the match 3-2.

The Lions rebounded nicely the next day, when they hosted the Lees-McRae Bobcats from North Carolina. Lindenwood was too much for the Bobcats to handle all night long, starting off with a 25-19 win in the first set. 

Despite trailing 12-10 at one point, the Lions came back from their small deficit to bring the set level at 17-17 just past the midway point in the second. This tie would be followed by an 8-1 Lindenwood run to win the set 25-18. The third wasn’t much different, as the Lions had one of their more decisive victories on the season, winning it 25-14.

Saturday was the final day of the Lindenwood Invitational, when the Lions hosted another team that received NCAA top 15 votes in the Grand Canyon Lopes. Grand Canyon had their way in the first two sets, securing back-to-back 25-19 wins over Lindenwood to take a 2-0 lead in the match.

The third set would provide a closer scoreline, but a similar victor. Lindenwood had a 3-0 advantage early on in the set, but the Lopes stormed back and didn’t look back after this Lions lead. Grand Canyon pulled ahead later on in the third and fought off multiple Lions’ comeback efforts, winning it 25-21 and the match 3-0.

Now below .500 at 3-4 on the season, Lindenwood will continue to play inside of Hyland Arena next week when they host Tusculum and Urbana University on Friday and Saturday.