The Loras (Iowa) men’s volleyball team gave top-ranked Carthage three tight sets in a Midwest Collegiate Volleyball League match at Tarble Arena on Saturday afternoon.
Still, the Red Men won all three.
Carthage — which received 18 first-place votes and 341 points in the latest NCAA Division III coaches poll to remain at No. 1 — notched a 25-22, 25-22, 26-24 victory to improve to 19-1 overall and 6-0 in the MCVL with three regular-season matches remaining.
Evan Walsh led the Red Men on Saturday with 14 kills, an ace and nine digs. Matt Slivinski had 12 kills and nine digs, Braeden Waumans chipped in seven kills, Eric Winter had six blocks, Matt Reinsel tallied 40 assists and five blocks and Tremper graduate Blake Arnold had a match-high 11 digs.
Loras led the third set, 24-22, after an attack error by Walsh, but Carthage stormed back with four straight points to end the set and the match.
Reinsel set up Slivinski for a kill to end it.
Defiance (Ohio) 13, Carthage 10;
Carthage 14, Defiance (Ohio) 1
With conference play starting, the Red Men continued their confounding ways by splitting a non-conference doubleheader at Augie Schmidt Field.
Carthage (8-5) fell behind 12-4 in the opener and had a late rally fall short before busting loose for 17 hits and holding Defiance to one in the seven-inning second game.
“I’ve been doing this a long time, but I don’t have an answer for knowing what we’re going to get in any particular game, or even a particular inning,” Carthage coach Augie Schmidt said in a press release. “This season has been an adventure for us so far. Today, in the first game, we invented new ways to give up runs — it was a tad embarrassing.
“Even in the first game, we battled back and scored a bunch of runs, but we lost. In the second game, we scored a bunch of runs again, but we got a great pitching performance from Matt Willett.
“The pitching staff has been the biggest mystery so far. It’s Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates. We have to figure that out.”
Indeed, Willett (1-0) was dealing in the second game, as he held Defiance (9-4-1) to a lone single in six innings. He walked three and struck out four.
The Red Men broke a scoreless tie with a run in the bottom of the third and piled on four each in the fourth and fifth and five more in the sixth.
Matthew Pratscher belted a three-run homer to left in the fourth inning and finished 3-for-3 with three runs and five RBI. Vince Schwartz homered and finished 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBI, Colton Klein also homered and went 2-for-4 with a run and two RBI and Luke Beckmann finished 3-for-5 with a double and three runs.
In the opener, Defiance roughed up Carthage starter and Tremper graduate Jacob Delabio (0-3) for nine runs (eight earned) on six hits in three innings.
Cody Phelps had a phenomenal game at the plate for the Red Men, finishing 5-for-5 with a double and three runs, while Ryan Kramer went 3-for-5 with two runs and two RBI.
Carthage opens College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin play against North Park at 1 p.m. Wednesday at Holmgren Athletic Complex in Chicago.
Ashland (Ohio) 10, UW-Parkside 2;
Ashland (Ohio) 16, UW-Parkside 5
After a 10-day layoff, the visiting Rangers were swept in a doubleheader to open Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play.
Parkside (4-10 overall) hadn’t played since March 13, a 5-2 win at then-No. 4 Illinois Springfield. A non-conference game at Findlay (Ohio) on March 20 was canceled, and Friday’s game at Ashland was postponed to today as the second game of a doubleheader.
In Saturday’s opener, the Rangers fell behind 10-0 and scored their lone runs in the top of the seventh inning on a Nicholas Eisenmenger bases-loaded walk and an RBI single by Indian Trail graduate Lane Ochs, who finished 2-for-3.
Peyton Schneder (2-3) took the loss, allowing four runs (two earned) on six hits in five innings.
The Rangers rapped out 11 hits in the second game, but again they fell behind early, as the Eagles (16-3) scored 15 runs in the first three innings, including five in the first and eight in the third.
Justin Bennett went 2-for-4 with a run and two RBI for Parkside, Noah Tyrrell was 2-for-4 with two runs, Shawn Rigsby went 2-for-4 with a run and Casey Oliver had an RBI double.
Mason Martin (0-1) allowed seven earned runs in 11/3 innings to take the loss.
Purdue Northwest 10, UW-Parkside 0;
Purdue Northwest 15, UW-Parkside 2
The Rangers opened Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play, but the results were the same as the non-conference slate.
In being swept at the Case Complex in Somers, host Parkside dropped to 0-20.
Megan Aliverti, Morgan Sikon, Adrien Hall and Jessica Crull each singled for Parkside in the first game, as Allison Hausl took the loss in the circle to drop to 0-7. Madison Schultz homered and drove in five runs for Purdue Northwest (11-5).
The Rangers scored twice in the bottom of the first in the second game courtesy of Crull’s two-run double down the right-field line, but the Pride had already plated four runs in the top of the first off Parkside starter Alyssa McClelland (0-1), who lasted just 2/3 of an inning.
NCAA Division III Championships
Carthage’s Sam Gabriel broke his own school record in the 100-yard backstroke on the third day of the event Friday at the Greensboro Aquatic Center in Greensboro, N.C.
Gabriel notched a time of 49.57 seconds in the preliminaries, breaking his mark of 49.65 achieved in this year’s CCIW Championships.
It also earned Gabriel a 16th-place finish and a spot in the consolation finals later in the day, where he swam a 50.03 to give Carthage a point in the standings and its first All-American finish since Teryn Sloan placed 13th in the 1,650 freestyle in 2013.
Also competing for the Red Men on Friday was Mitchell Mages, who placed 30th in the 100 breaststroke preliminaries (56.2).