HARTSVILLE, S.C – The Coker men's volleyball record books were rewritten on Friday (Mar. 21) as the Cobras swept a pair of five-set marathon matches against the Belmont Abbey Crusaders and Rutgers-Newark University Scarlet Raiders in men's collegiate volleyball action.
Match one would be an old-fashioned slugfest between the Cobras and Crusaders. Belmont Abbey and Coker would split the first two sets with identical scores of 25-20. After trading service errors late in set three, Coker would capitalize on a free ball and take a 2-1 set advantage after winning the highly competitive set 25-23. The Navy and Yellow jumped out to a commanding 20-15 lead in the fourth set, but the Crusaders would not go away as they used a 10-2 run to win the set 25-22.
The fifth and final set would be a barnburner as the Cobras opened up a 7-3 lead only to see Belmont Abbey claw back to make it a 14-12 game late in favor of Coker. Following a near service ace by the Crusaders, Luke Grupe would receive a terrific set from Ricardo Ferrer to seal a 15-12 set win and 3-2 match victory for the Navy and Yellow.
Leading Coker offensively was Jared Geizer with a career-high 24 kills, five digs and three blocks. His 24 kills tied a Coker men's volleyball single-match record previously held by Luke Hansen. Hansen and Leshon Alexander also had great performances for the Navy and Yellow with 13 kills apiece. Ferrer tallied 11 digs to lead the Coker defense and handed out a career-high and Coker single-match record 60 assists.
Match two would be an even more dramatic win for the Cobras as they fell behind 2-0 after dropping sets one and two 25-23 and 25-20, respectively. With the score knotted at 18-all in the third, Coker would use a 7-3 run to capture its first set of the match, 25-21. The Cobras would win the fourth set 28-26 following two costly attack errors by the Scarlet Raiders.
The fifth set was all Coker to begin with as the Navy and Yellow opened up an 11-5 lead over Rutgers-Newark. However, the Scarlet Raiders would fight their way back to get the score to 14-13 in favor of Coker. A kill by Hansen would give the Cobras a 15-13 set victory and preserve the come-from-behind win by the Navy and Yellow.
Hansen led Coker with 23 kills and eight digs, while Alexander knocked home 16 kills and had a game-high seven blocks. Ferrer dished out a match-high 48 assists and Grupe added a match-high three service aces.
Coker will be back in action tomorrow (Mar. 22) when they travel to Gaffney, S.C. with a matchup against the Saints of Limestone College. First serve is scheduled for 2 p.m.
McDonald's Players of the Game – Luke Hansen and Leshon Alexander
Release written by Coker sports information graduate assistant Sharod Williams.