No. 10 Lewis Rallies For 3-2 Victory Over No. 14 Ball State


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ROMEOVILLE, Ill. - Senior Drew Pickering (Wauwatosa, Wis./Wauwatosa West) hit .479 with 27 kills, nine digs, five aces and four blocks to help the No. 10 Flyers to a 3-2 (30-26, 26-30, 28-30, 30-25, 19-17) victory over No. 14 Ball State on Friday evening in a Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association match at Neil Carey Arena.

Pickering came up with numerous powerful kills on the evening, but he went with the soft tip kill for the Flyers' 19th point in set five.

Senior Billy Sahagian (Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett) added 14 kills on 24 swings, with six blocks (one solo).

"Drew and Billy did a fantastic job of carrying the team on their back," head coach Dan Friend said. "Every really good team needs a couple guys to step up when they are needed, and those guys did that tonight."

Junior Nathan Klaas (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg) totaled 18 kills and five blocks (two solo).

The third set was a battle but it looked like the Flyers had it in their pocket after scoring four straight points to take a 27-25 advantage. The final point in the run was a crowd pleaser. Senior Nick Perakes (Orlando, Fla./Cypress Creek) chased down a ball that junior Rikki Garma (Lihue, Hawaii/Ost) made a diving dig on. The Flyers were able to get the ball over the net and then earned the point when Ball State's ensuing attack was into the net. However Ball State scored five of the final six points to take the set.

Set four was tied at eight until Lewis went on an impressive 11-0 run with Pickering serving. Pickering had an ace and two kills during the stretch. Multiple substitutions and both Ball State timeouts couldn't stop the Flyers' momentum.

Ball State held a 9-8 advantage in the fifth set until the Flyers scored four straight to take a 12-9 lead. Again, Pickering had an ace during the run.

Then the Cardinals turned it on, scoring the next two points and forcing Lewis to call a timeout. Sahagian followed with a kill to stop the run and make it a 13-11 Lewis lead. The teams traded points and the Flyers earned match-point at 14-12. However three straight Cardinals' points gave Ball State a match point of their own. No surprise it was Pickering with the kill to knot it at 15. A block by sophomore Brian Muesenfechter (Florissant, Mo./Christian Brothers) and junior Craig Boller (Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett) gave the Flyers the upper hand at 16-15. After trading points Lewis finally put it away on Pickering's touch kill.

Junior Mike Iandolo (Orlando, Fla./Long Beach State) recorded a career-high 68 assists with 11 digs. Perakes was a dig short of his career high, recording 19.

Garma added five digs and Muesenfechter had three kills in reserve roles.

"Rikki was awesome tonight," Friend said. "He did Brian both provided a lot off the bench."

The Cardinals fall to 10-6 (4-2 MIVA). Lewis improves to 13-5 (4-1 MIVA). The Flyers host NYU on Sunday at 5 p.m.

Article courtesy of Lewis athletics.

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