KWU Men's Volleyball closes regular season with rout of Central Christian

KWU Men's Volleyball closes regular season with rout of Central Christian

The Kansas Wesleyan men's volleyball team accomplished everything coach Dustin Sahlmann hoped to, particularly one specific item.

KWU defeated winless Central Christian 3-0 (25-10, 25-15, 25-9) in the regular season finale Tuesday night inside Mabee Arena and it was a team effort. Sahlmann used 13 Coyotes in the match thus accomplishing his first goal.

"We lost a couple of JV matches to some teams who were down on players because of injuries and so forth," he said. "We wanted to make sure we got everyone some court time tonight, get some people feeling good about themselves and get ready to go to the (Great Plains Athletic) Conference Tournament."

The other accomplishment was less tangible but equally important. The victory helped ease the pain of a 3-2 GPAC loss to Morningside on Saturday in Mabee Arena – a match the Coyotes led 2-0 early on.

"Especially for me," Sahlmann said.

KWU (13-12, 4-5 GPAC) hit at a sizzling .316 percentage Tuesday while Central Christian (0-22, 0-8 GPAC) hit just .053.

Justin Burras led the attack with eight kills while Jaron Lindsay had seven and Viet Nguyen six. Tyler McUne added 16 assists and Angel Diaz 13. Jose Pina-Garcia led the defense with 12 digs and Ryan Wagner had three solo blocks and one assist block.

Sahlmann was particularly pleased with one aspect of his team's efforts.

"One of the things we struggle with as a unit is serving and we had a ton of aces (12) tonight," he said. "That's good for our guys to have some confidence in that aspect of our game."

Nguyen, a starting outside hitter from Wichita, was honored after the game. Though just a junior Nguyen will graduate this spring having completed his classroom work in three years.

"If you want to talk about a student-athlete and what embodies a student-athlete, that's him," Sahlmann said of Nguyen who earned Second Team All-GPAC honors last season. "He does what he supposed to do in the classroom, he does what you ask him to do outside of the gym, he's a good worker in the gym and does what you ask him to do. He embodies what we want."

KWU raced to an 11-1 lead in the opening set and Central Christian got no closer than eight the rest of the way.

The second set was close early on. Clinging to a 12-11 lead the Coyotes pulled away by scoring 10 of the next 12 points and led 22-12.

KWU led the third set 12-8 but quickly caught fire and closed it out by scoring 13 of the next 14 points. It started with a 7-0 run and ended with a 6-0 burst.

Next up is the quarterfinals of the GPAC tournament. The Coyotes will play Ottawa at 6 p.m. April 13 most likely in Mabee Arena although Sahlmann said there is a slight chance the site could change after this weekend's competition.

"Something crazy could happen this weekend and then (Ottawa) will get to host but we're 90 percent sure it's going to be here," he said.

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