Bees shake off first set to snap skid
St. Ambrose shook off some first-set struggles to defeat Viterbo 10-25, 25-18, 25-23, 25-22 Thursday night in Lee Lohman Arena. The victory snapped an 11-match losing streak.
The Bees could do little right in the opening set, collecting just four kills and registering eight hitting errors. The V-Hawks took advantage in easily taking a 1-0 lead.
But from there, the Bees picked up their play. SAU collected 40 kills against just 12 attack errors, hitting at a .350 clip, over the final three sets. In each of the second and third sets, St. Ambrose hit at least .400.
With the second set tied at 17-17, the Bees went on a momentum-changing 8-1 run. Charlie Flynn, Nick Fox, Jake Powers and Jon Guch each had a kill during the run. Dillon Markley added an ace and Fox and Guch combined for a pair of blocks that knotted the score at one set apiece.
SAU had to rally late in the third. Trailing 21-19, a Viterbo serving error and a Flynn block tied the set at 21-21. The teams traded points and with things even at 23-23, Flynn and Dan Rice put down back-to-back kills to put St. Ambrose in front.
The Bees won five of the first six points in the fourth set. Viterbo (6-14, 3-7 CCAC) stayed close before Fox recorded three kills during a five-point run that helped St. Ambrose open a 15-8 edge. Up 23-15, the Bees allowed the V-Hawks to make things interesting, surrendering five straight points. A Guch kill was followed by two more Viterbo points before Flynn ended the match with his ninth kill of the evening.
Fox led the team with 14 kills and six blocks. Guch finished with 12 kills and Rice added seven. Powers and Cael Anderson also each had a kill.
Ethan Chausse had a team-best 22 assists. Anthony Anderson was credited with 17. Markley paced the Bees with 13 digs. Anthony Anderson, Chausse and Guch each picked up five, and Powers and Jesse Moreno each had four. Markley (three), Cael Anderson (two) and Anthony Anderson each had aces.
St. Ambrose, now 5-16 overall and 4-6 in the CCAC, will play two matches Saturday in Dubuque, Iowa. The Bees will face the University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy first before battling host Clarke later.