MVB: Colonels remain winless against MAC Freedom teams

The men’s volleyball team looked to pick up their first MAC Freedom win of the season as they faced the visiting Arcadia Knights Saturday afternoon in the Marts Center. Wilkes was unable to come away with the win, as they lost 3-1.

The Colonels did not come out of the gates with much enthusiasm. They looked flat on all levels and Arcadia took advantage of that, winning the opening set 25-17.

“Every team has hard hitters,” said head coach Joseph Czopek. “What Arcadia has is a well-rounded attack, and that helped keep our defense off guard.”

Things were much different in the second set. Wilkes’ offense and defense started to work in cohesion. Speicher played a big role in that with multiple blocks and tipped balls that got his team energized. The Colonels were able to tie things up with a 27-25 win.

With things now all square, the third set became crucial in who was going to win the match. Things were once again back and forth before the Arcadia hitters started to do some damage. Some thunderous swings near the end of the set ended up being the difference-maker as the Knights took the set.

“Conference games have always been a real competitive scheme for us,” said senior middle hitter Ethan Speicher. “We have always been ranked lowest in the conference, and we take that as a challenge. We want teams to look at us with some respect.”

With the Colonels having to win the fourth set to keep the match alive, they came out with some fire and got off to a hot start. Arcadia answered and tied the set up and eventually went on a big run to finish out the set and match.

“That’s where we seem to struggle-in, the last third of the sets,” said Czopek. “We need to be able to stop teams from getting two and three points in a row, while we only get one.”

Despite losing in four sets, the Colonels were in it every step of the way after the first set. Each set could have gone a different way if Wilkes was able to come up with a couple of key stops or points.

“I think the main thing we struggled with was mentality,” said junior setter Casey Shipman. “When we play big teams, we need to keep a good mix of being intense, but also laid back, combined with having fun while staying serious. We are starting to get better with it, and I’m excited to see where the rest of the season goes.”

The Colonels will look to take that mindset into their coming games before spring break. They will host a trio of MAC opponents next week in the Marts Center starting with Stevens Institute of Technology tonight at 7 p.m.

The Beacon/Ariel Reed From left to right: Jackson Shafer and Jacob Manges celebrated together after getting a huge block to score the 23 point of the game and switch the tide in Wilkes’ favor.