UNION, N.J. (3/25/14) – The No. 14 Kean University men's volleyball team fought back from 1-0 and 2-1 set deficits to upend No. 13 Baruch College in five sets on Tuesday night. Setter Ron Dunn had 39 assists, seven blocks, five digs, two aces and a .444 hitting percentage in the match for Kean.
The Cougars had the early advantage in set one and led 7-3, but Baruch battled and tied the set at 12. Kean took the lead again as Dunn pounded an overpass at 21-20, but the Bearcats showed their mettle by scoring five of the next six to take the first set.
Kean once again took a lead on a kill by Dunn in the second, and went up by as much as 14-11. But from that point, BC got four-straight points to go back in front. The Cougars called for time, and out of the break Bez Arslani had a kill that put Kean back ahead. The lead flip-flopped until the teams eventually found themselves tied at 19. Kean got three-straight, but almost coughed it back up.
BC scored the first four points of set three and seven of the first nine, effectively ending the set before it truly began as they won easily 25-11.
Amazingly, Kean was nearly as dominant in the fourth. Cunningham had two big blocks to put the Cougars up 5-4, and kills by Arslani helped fuel a 4-1 KU run. Libero Michael Fox (pictured left) had numerous acrobatic digs in the set as the Cougars took it 25-19 to force the deciding fifth.
Kean lept out to a 7-4 lead, and importantly maintained that cushion throughout the next six points to make the score 10-7. A kill by Rosario and an ace in the corner by Dunn moved the score to 12-7.A combination block by Arslani and Roasario – the national leader – got the Cougars 13 and Cunningham's 12th kill made it match point. Ed Jedziniak delivered the final dagger as the Cougars completed the comeback.
Arslani led the team with 14 kills and Jedziniak was tops on the team with nine digs. Kean won despite giving up more total points and being outhit .195-.140. Jack McKee led the visitors with 22 kills.
The Cougars will return to the hardwood when they visit Purchase College to resume Skyline Conference action at 7 p.m. on Thursday night.