Stars Win Seventh Straight

Sat Feb 9, 2019
The fifth-ranked Dominican University men's volleyball staved off a scrappy Illinois Tech Scarlet Hawks squad on Saturday night at the Igini Sports Forum, topping the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference (NACC) foe in four sets (24-26, 25-22, 25-22, 25-20) to move the Stars to 7-1 on the season and 2-0 in league play.
 
"As a coach, you never feel satisfied with almost any result," commented Dan Pawlikowski, the Stars' head men's volleyball coach. "Even in a win, we are always looking for areas to improve. While we are pleased to get the win and improve to 2-0 in conference, we felt that this wasn't our best team win. Credit to IIT for playing hard and really causing many of our struggles tonight."
 
"It was good to see freshman George Kougan step up and make some great plays," continued Pawlikowski, "but we won't win many matches if this is the highest level we compete at for the remainder of the season."
 
The Stars hit .202 in the winning effort, recovering from a .118 hitting percentage while dropping the first set.  The Stars equaled their season-high for errors, committing 26 hitting errors on the night while managing 49 kills.  Kougan finished with a team-high 16 kills while Ethan Klosak added 11 kills for the Stars.  Jack McGuire ran the offense for most of the match, doling out 33 assists while Evan Ruffner added nine assists over parts of the second and third set.
 
After dropping the first set despite getting to set point after a Scarlet Hawks attack error, the Stars rallied to take the second and third sets behind four kills in each set for Kougan.  Dominican then closed out the win with a block party in the fourth set, collecting seven blocks in the set to limit the Scarlet Hawks to a .000 attack percentage on 30 attempts.  Kougan got in on six of the Stars' blocks in the frame, including five block assists.
 
For the Scarlet Hawks, Andriy Bench and Lukasz Kupiec led the attack with 15 and 11 kills respectively. Illinois Tech managed to hit .186 against the Stars, knocking down 41 kills on 102 total swings while committing 22 errors.
 
The Stars will return to action next Friday, February 15, hosting the #12 MSOE Raiders for a 7:00 p.m. match.  Dominican then bounces back on Saturday afternoon, hosting the Lakeland University Muskies at 2:00 p.m.