St. Louis, Missouri – The Raiders traveled down to St. Louis last weekend to compete in the Midwest Collegiate Volleyball League tournament for the first time ever.
Mount Union entered the tournament with the #2 seed and got a rematch of their regular season finale against Mount St. Joseph (who received the #3 seed).
Mount Union took the first set with ease (25-15) but after that MSJ made the Raiders work for it and took the third set by a score of 25-22. However, the Raiders took sets two and four (26-24, 29-27) to secure the 3-1 win. Mark Bruns led the way offensively for the Raiders with sixteen kills. They advanced with the win to the MCVL championship against #1 seeded Fontbonne (winners over Trine in the other semifinal with a 3-0 sweep). In the championship game, the Raiders jumped out to an early lead with a 25-23 in in set one. After that point, Fontbonne won the next three sets (25-23, 25-20, 25-22) to secure a 3-1 win and the MCVL tournament championship.
With the loss, the Raiders’ fate was left in the hands of the selection committee. Unfortunately, there were only three at-large bids for this year’s Division III men’s volleyball tournament and the Raiders were left on the outside looking in. This means that the Raiders will conclude their season with a 21-3 record and the first twenty-win season in program history. There were plenty of other positives for the Raiders as well: they went 11-0 at home, won a program record nineteen games in a row, Jeremy Leyden dished out his 2,000-career assist, Steven Grenier surpassed 500 career digs, Mark Bruns and Justin Sibbel both eclipsed the 500 career kill mark and the Raiders got four players on the All-MCVL teams (Sibbel, Grenier, Leyden, and Sam Matonis). Mount Union’s lone senior was Sibbel so even if he does not return (Division III was granted a blanket waiver so athletes did not burn a year of eligibility this year) the Raiders will have almost their entire core coming back.