Viking spikers off to 5-0 start

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The ninth-ranked Missouri Valley College men's volleyball team got its season off to a strong start with five straight wins.

The first four came in Cincinnati, beginning with a 25-14, 25-11, 25-11 victory Friday over Cincinnati Christian. Senior Jacob Pederson led the way for the Vikings with eight kills and five digs.

Valley swept the College of Mount St. Joseph Tournament with three wins Saturday, dropping only one game in the process. The Vikings opened with a 25-8, 25-3, 25-8 blowout of Rust (Miss.) behind Pederson's six aces and seven spikes each from freshmen Thomas Brandstetter and Lucas Wurr.

Lourdes (Ohio) gave Valley it's toughest test, splitting the first two sets before falling, 25-21, 21-25, 25-23, 25-16. Senior Jacob Harr had 19 kills for MVC, which got 17 saves from sophomore Ding Hui.

The tourney closed with the Vikings defeating Mount St. Joseph's, 25-11, 25-20, 25-18, as Wurr and Harr both knocked down 11 shots and Pederson recorded 10 kills, eight digs and a pair of aces.

Valley opened at home Tuesday with a three-set win over Graceland, 25-13, 25-19, 25-18. Harr led the way with 11 kills, with Pederson coming up with nine digs.

The Vikings' early team leaders are Harr with 50 kills and 19 blocks, Hui with 42 digs, Pederson with 10 aces and senior Will McCracken with 95 assists.

Valley (5-0) will face its first ranked opponent of the season Friday when it hosts No. 8 Cardinal Stritch (Wis.).

Contact Chris Allen at callen@marshallnews.com

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