UNION, N.J. (1/17/15) – The No. 6 Kean University men's volleyball team bested Endicott College and Johnson & Wales University in a pair of 3-1 victories on Saturday to sweep the 2015 Kean Winter Classic. The Cougars are now 4-0 to start the year.
Match One vs. Endicott
After being down by as much as three, the Gulls took a 19-18 lead via a four-point run with Stewart Allendorph serving.
The Cougars turned to Bez Arslani, who got the next kill to tie. Jedziniak then earned his fifth kill to help Kean go back out in front. But from that point, Troy Riorden served three-straight aces for Endicott and the Gulls capped the first-set victory with another ace by John Osborne.
The second set was tied at six, before a 4-0 Cougar run put the hosts in front. Kean maintained that lead throughout most of the second, never letting the Gulls get closer than two points. Jedziniak had six kills in the set and Arslani added another five.
Kean also racked up four blocks – two coming from junior Tommy Rosario – as the team knotted the match at one set apiece.
The Cougars leapt out to an 11-4 lead in the third set via a 6-0 run. Three different players had kills during the streak, and setter Ron Dunn served two-straight aces during it as well.
Once again, Kean kept the Gulls at arm's length throughout the set for the 25-20 victory. Jedziniak continued to rack up the kills, with six in the third. Arslani (pictured left) put an end to the lynchpin third set with a resounding kill.
The fourth set was tied at 12, and Kean got the next three with three-straight kills set up by Dunn. The Cougars stretched the lead to 19-13 before Endicott closed all the way to within two, forcing Kean to call timeout.
After the stoppage, the Gulls scored two more to tie the set. Jedziniak got the big kill to keep Kean in front at 21-21, and did it again at 22-22.
With the score tied at 23, the Gulls served one out of bounds and Jacob Kauffman fired an ace to deliver the Kean triumph in a good early-season test for both teams. Endicott is receiving votes in the AVCA Coaches poll.
Match Two vs. Johnson & Wales
Cougars got out to a 6-1 advantage and never let up in a 25-10 triumph in the opener. Arslani had six kills in the first, and the Kean defense held every Wildcat to a negative hitting percentage and the team to -.143 total.
With a new lineup in the second, the Cougars fell behind early but rallied to tie the set at11. It was also knotted at 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 and 26 before Kean finally ripped off three-straight points to bag the second set at 28-26.
The third set followed a similar script to the previous, as the set was tied late at 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29 and 30 before the Wildcats pulled off a 32-30 victory. Ryan Kennedy had six kills in the set and JWU posted a half-dozen blocks.
In the fourth, Kean returned its starters to the floor and won again handily. Arslani had five kills to pace Kean in that one.
Overall, 14 players got into the second match for Kean and the Cougars had 56 kills as a unit.
Kean will next head to New Hampshire for the Live Free or Die Tournament against No. 8 Rivier College and Daniel Webster College on January 31.