Courtesy of the Central State Atheltics
The Central State Marauders took home the inaugural SIAC men’s volleyball tournament title with a five-set win over Edward Waters on Thursday.
After dropping the opening set, 25-18. CSU battled to a 25-23 win in the second frame and took a 2-1 lead in the match with a 25-19 win in the fourth. EWU, the second seed in the tournament, bounced back for a 25-14 win to force a fifth set.
With the score tied at 9-9, CSU gained some separation after an EWU attacking error followed by a ball handling error. With a two-point advantage, the CSU offensive duo of Cameron Lee and Yaron Afek finished off the match with two kills each to seal the victory and start the championship celebration.
Afek led all players with 21 kills in the championship match while Lee finished with 16. Marcus Franck, who was named the SIAC Setter of the Year earlier in the week, finished with a match-high 49 assists. Teammate Victory Scherer, who earned SIAC Libero of the Year honors, finished with 15 digs. Middle blocker Antonio Barraza led all players with six blocks.
On their way to the SIAC title, CSU beat Benedict in four sets on Tuesday and defeated EWU twice, which included a five-set win on Wednesday in addition to the championship match.
The CSU win on Thursday also marked the first time the school has claimed a SIAC tournament title in any sport since the school became a member of the conference in 2014.
The Marauders finish the inaugural SIAC men’s volleyball season with a 14-13 overall record and end the season on a six-match winning streak. CSU also claimed the SIAC regular season title with a 9-1 conference ledger while five players earned All-SIAC honors.
A replay of the SIAC tournament final can be seen on – youtube.com/user/SIACSPORTS