WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – The No. 3-ranked Indiana Tech men’s volleyball team had their historic season come to a close Thursday afternoon inside the MidAmerican Energy RexPlex with a 3-1 loss (15-25, 20-25, 26-24, 20-25) to No. 8-ranked Benedictine University at Mesa in pool play portion of the NAIA National Championship.
Dante Siracusa had a team-best 10 kills while Daynte Stewart had eight kills and five digs. Brandon Jones dished out 29 assists with six digs and two blocks. Joey Hermes had seven digs while Chase ChristiansenJon Fonda and Mason Milan each had two blocks.
The Redhawks took the lead on the opening point of the first set and never looked back thanks to a 10-1 run that pulled them ahead 22-11. Benedictine Mesa hit .455 in the opening set while holding the Warriors to a .000 attack percentage.
The second set was more even with 10 ties and three lead changes, with the Warriors holding slim two-point leads at 7-5 and 9-7, but the Redhawks came back with a 4-1 lead to go up 11-10 and never trailed again. A 4-0 run by Benedictine Mesa pushed their lead to 17-13 and they rode the momentum to the 2-0 match lead.
The Warriors found some momentum with a 7-4 run to kick off the third set before pushing their lead to 12-6. The Redhawks came storming back thanks to a 9-4 spurt that knotted the set up at 21. After trading two-point swings, Tech got a kill from Fonda to put them up 24-23 before eventually pulling out the 26-24 victory to keep their season alive.
Benedictine Mesa took the opening point of the fourth set and never trailed despite the Warriors tying up the match three different times, but the last one coming at 7-7. The Redhawks went on an 8-2 run following the tie-up, but the Warriors got within three points at 20-17 to make things interesting. The Warriors got back to within three at 23-20, but the Redhawks took the final two points following a kill form John Dawson, who had a match-high 15, and a triple block to send the Redhawks to the national semifinals on Friday.
Tech finishes the season 29-3, their most wins ever.