OSKALOOSA – The Dordt Defender men’s volleyball team avenged an early season loss by going on the road and defeating William Penn in Oskaloosa, Iowa, 3-2 (24-26, 21-25, 25-20, 25-18, 15-12).
Dordt had to overcome a 2-0 deficit to secure the win and get back to within one win of .500.
The Statesmen won set one 26-24 in a contest filled with ten ties. Dordt trailed 23-20 but fought back to tie the set with a Lucas Nelson kill followed by a Garret Vander Zee kill. Dordt got its third win in a row off an attack error but couldn’t get to set point serve. The teams exchanged points on kills to move the score to 24-24 and William Penn won it on a Dordt service error and a point off a block.
William Penn took a 20-14 lead with four straight points and held off the Dordt rallies at 22-19 and 23-21. William Penn put the set away with a kill and a Dordt attack error.
Dordt’s comeback began with a 22-13 lead after four straight William Penn errors. The cushion remained at least four the rest of the set and Vander Zee put down a kill off an assist by Tyler Postma for a 25-20 win.
A six point streak early in set four gave the Defenders a 12-5 edge and that difference proved to be more than enough for a 25-18 win setting up a decisive set five.
Dordt seized control of the set early and never trailed, taking a 4-1 lead and allowing William Penn back to back points just once on the way to a 15-12 win highlighted by late kills from Shavon Barker and Caleb Kulesza.
Dordt had a .207 kill efficiency and had a 55-53 kill advantage while limiting William Penn to a .110 kill efficiency.
Dordt had an 11-6 points off of blocks advantage and Dordt had a 4-1 ace serves edge.
Vander Zee had 22 kills and handled 32 serve receptions cleanly.
Kulesza had 14 kills and eight digs with two block assists.
Nelson had seven block assists and Levi Ewald had two service aces and 20 digs.
Dordt is now 4-5 while William Penn is 2-10.
“We came back from being down 0-2 in the match,” Coach Hanson said. “Our determination and focus grew stronger as each set was played and our execution defensively was a strong lift to our performance. What a tremendous feeling for our guys to discover these levels of competition. We pushed them hard this past week and even provided some additional distractions to prepare for this environment on the road. The work paid off and we feel great with how each guy is buying in to the growth process. Even better is to see this team really make some strong connections together.”
Dordt will host Briar Cliff on Feb. 25.