Kean players huddle up after point
By Krzysztof Kucza
While most rested up, Men’s Volleyball had a lot of work to be done as they traveled to Wisconsin to play four tough matches during spring break. Their first day of competition, the Cougars faced #8 Cartridge and #14 Mt. St. Joseph at Cartridge University.
In the first match, Kean University destroyed College of Mount Saint Joseph in a three set sweep (25-10, 25-16, 25-19). The Cougars hit an impressive .404% while holding Mount Saint Joseph to a -.038% hitting percentage.
Freshman Jacob Kauffman and Senior Kyle Farley lead Kean with 7 kills a piece while Senior Libero John Cunningham had a team high 5 digs to lead the defensive.
The second match of the day against Cartridge was more of a challenge for the Cougars as they edged out a five set thriller (25-23, 25-22, 22-25, 24-26, 15-12).
Senior All-American Bez Arslani showed what he was worth with a stellar match-high 26 kills as well as a three aces. With great offensive comes great defensive where Senior Ed Jedziniak had 10 blocks while Cunningham had 10 digs for Kean. Senior Ron Dunn also amassed 50 sets in the victory.
Kean’s struggled game in the second day of play as they went 0-2 losing to Lakeland College and Milwaukee School of Engineering. These matches were the last of their trip to the Midwest and two of their only three loses on the season.
In the first match against Lakeland, Kean was hitting on all cylinders as they won 25-14 but struggles came as they lost the next three sets to ultimately lose the game in four sets (25-14, 24-26, 22-25, 19-25). Arslani and Karley led the Cougars with 9 kills respectively and Jedziniak lead the defense with 12 digs.
The second match seemed identical to the first as Kean won the first set, but Milwaukee School of Engineering came back to win the final three sets to finish the Cougars Midwest trip (25-20, 20-25, 21-25, 19-25). Jedziniak had 13 kills and 5 blocks to lead the team. Kean struggled to get into an offensive rhythm as they hit a low .041% for the game.
“First two games on the first day drained us mentally,” said Senior Bez Arslani. “Although we lost the last two games, it was a good two losses because it put us back on track and realized that their are teams out there as good as us so we need to focus and play even better down the road. We grown as a team after this trip.”
The Men’s Volleyball team is now 20-3 on the season and look forward to the conference tournament in the upcoming weeks.
“Wisconsin was a good experience,” said Junior Tommy Rosario. “It was the first time that this program has every played in the Midwest so it was a change for us for sure. The teams definitely play differently and even though we went 2-2 we learned how to adapt to different playing styles and a faster pace of game.”