UNION, N.J. (1/27/17) – The No. 10 Kean University men's volleyball team suffered its first loss to a Division III foe this season in a Friday tilt with No. 14 Rivier University in the first match of the Clash at Kean.
The Cougars fell behind 10-7 in the first set after the Raiders served two aces. Rivier increased its lead to 20-15 after back-to-back blocks, prompting a Cougar timeout. Jacob Kauffman had five kills and an ace to help the Cougars get back to 23-21, but Rivier earned the next two points to take the first set 25-21.
Despite being down by four points for most of the set, Kauffman had a resounding kill from the back row and then teamed with Kamil Garbowski (pictured left) for a big block to get the Cougars within one late in the second set, 24-23. But a Kean service error ended the comeback bid and Rivier went up two sets to none.
Kean was trailing by as many as 16-11 in the third, but back-to-back blocks and an ace by Jared Warner brought the Cougars all the way back to tie the set at 18. But the Raiders scored the next three points to take the momentum back and roll to a 25-20 victory.
Rivier was led by Ian Wolski, who had 10 kills and just missed a double-double with nine digs.
Kauffman also reached double-digit kills, and Nick Breslin had 11 digs for the Cougars. Warner was in on five blocks.
Kean is now 5-2 overall. Rivier improved to 2-1.
The Cougars will continue the Clash at Kean early Saturday morning with matchups against Eastern Mennonite University and Nazareth College beginning at 9 a.m.