|California Baptist got by Johnson & Wales, 3-1.|
PARKVILLE, Mo. –It was literally another record day for California Baptist University in the opening match of the 2009 NAIA Men’s Volleyball National Invitational. Blair Penner broke the school record for assists in a single-season in a 3-1 (30-22, 25-30, 30-22, 30-24) win over No. 6 Johnson & Wales.
Penner came into the match needing just four assists to pass Eric Plunkett’s mark of 1,331 assists set back in 2006 and he recorded his 1,332nd assist to help the Lancers (23-7) jump up 10-2 in the opening set. The Wildcats (14-12) closed their deficit to 18-8, but CBU used a 4-1 run to take its biggest lead of the set at 22-9. The Lancers held a double-digit lead until JWU used a 6-1 run, that included a pair of kills from Komakana Fernandez, to close it to 29-22. Adam Church answered with a kill to put the set away and CBU up 1-0 in the match.
CBU jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the second set and led 6-3 before Church and Mohamed Khattab each had bookend kills and Levi Cabral served an ace to put the Lancers up 10-3. The Lancers then led 12-6 before they took their biggest lead of match at 16-7 on a Penner ace. JWU didn’t fade away as Fernandez completed a 9-2 run make it 18-16. CBU led 23-21 when the Wildcats took their first lead of the match at 24-23. Cabral tied the set at 24-24 and 25-25 on back-to-back kills, but JWU closed out the set with a 5-0 run to tie the match at 1-1.
The Wildcats scored three straight to take an 11-8 lead in the third, but the Lancers answered back after trading points with three straight to tie it at 12-12. Cabral tacked on two more with a pair of kills and Penner capped the 6-0 run with an ace to give the Lancers a 15-12 lead. CBU jumped out to a 21-15 lead and led 28-22 before Cabral smashed a kill and finished off the set with an ace.
Again the Lancers quickly got out to a 5-1 lead in the fourth, but JWU answered with an 8-3 run to take a 9-8 lead. After a Cabral kill tied the set at 9-9, both teams traded three more ties before Adiel Tiedjop broke the 12-12 tie with a kill and sparked a 7-1 run as the Lancers climbed to a 19-13 lead. JWU closed it to 22-20 with a 7-3 run, but that was as close as the Wildcats came. The Lancers closed out the set and match with an 8-4 run.
Cabral led the way for CBU with 22 kills (.317), three aces and four blocks. Tiedjop posted 17 kills and had a pair of aces. Church was just a kill short of tying a career high with 10 and also notched a match-high five blocks. Penner not only dished out a season high 54 assists, pushing his single-season total to 1,382, but he tied Rafael Paal’s mark of 68 aces set back in 2000. With one more ace he will have the school-record for most aces in a single season. Adam Cook also recorded 12 digs.
The Lancers as a team hit just .259 (64-29-135), but was able to hold Johnson & Wales to a .028 clip. CBU posted 9.5 blocks and served nine aces.